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Functional HeadsThe Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 7$
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Laura Brugé, Anna Cardinaletti, Giuliana Giusti, Nicola Munaro, and Cecilia Poletto

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746736.001.0001

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On the Feature Composition of Participial Light Verbs in French *

On the Feature Composition of Participial Light Verbs in French *

Chapter:
(p.208) On the Feature Composition of Participial Light Verbs in French*
Source:
Functional Heads
Author(s):

Andrew Radford

Michèle Vincent

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746736.003.0016

This chapter sets out to provide a contribution to our understanding of the feature composition of participles from the perspective of the Minimalist Program developed by Chomsky. It focuses on accounting for participle agreement in French in transitive clauses containing the auxiliary avoir have. It follows Chomsky in taking transitive participles to be the spell-out of a functional head (an abstract light verb) that serves as the head of a phase, and looks at the featural make-up of the relevant type of functional head. It notes that participle agreement is optional and linked with movement, and proposes that this optionality is a consequence of two different mechanisms provided by UG for driving movement to the edge of a phase, via a selective or unselective Edge Feature. The chapter begins by providing a brief description of the conditions under which past participle agreement takes place with avoir have in French.

Keywords:   participles, Minimalist Program, French, transitive clauses, avoir, functional head

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