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A Minimalist Movement Account of Ditransitives

Wells, Sam (2015) A Minimalist Movement Account of Ditransitives. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Within the generative literature, theories proposing derivations for the double object construction (DOC) "John gave Mary the book" and prepositional dative construction (PDC) "John gave the book to Mary" differ widely. Many linguists argue for an analysis within which both constructions originate from a Merge position corresponding to a PDC, before a movement operation derives the final DOC word order (Baker, 1997; Larson, 1988; Michelioudakis, 2011). However, others propose lexical analyses which require each construction to be derived from separate Merge positions (Bruening, 2010a, 2010b, 2014; Harley, 2002; Jackendoff, 1990; Pylkkänen, 2002, 2008). At the core of a movement theory is the assumption that the thematic content of DOCs and PDCs is the same. This allows both constructions to be derived from the same Merge positions. Yet in a lexical approach, small meanings idiosyncratic to the DOC – often referred to as Oehrle’s Generalization – are used to argue that both ditransitive frames have different thematic roles, the outcome being that the DOC and PDC can be derived from different Merge positions. The aim of this thesis is to provide a Minimalist movement approach to the dative alternation within which Oehrle’s Generalization represents an implicature and as such, is not represented at Merge. The analysis developed within draws on Michelioudakis (2011) who also provides a Minimalist movement account, but one which represents Oehrle’s Generalization syntactically, albeit not at Merge. Ultimately, a system is developed where both frames of the dative alternation are derived from the same Merge positions before a last resort mechanism generates the final DOC word order.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > Language and Linguistic Science (York)
Depositing User: Mr Sam Wells
Date Deposited: 06 May 2016 12:00
Last Modified: 06 May 2016 12:00
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12587

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