LINGUIST List 15.1045

Tue Mar 30 2004

Diss: Syntax: Papangeli: 'The Morphosyntax...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. dimitra.papangeli, The Morphosyntax of Argument Realization

Message 1: The Morphosyntax of Argument Realization

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 04:13:20 -0500 (EST)
From: dimitra.papangeli <>
Subject: The Morphosyntax of Argument Realization

Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004
Author: Dimitra Papangeli 

Dissertation Title: The Morphosyntax of Argument Realization: Greek
Argument Structure and the Lexicon/Syntax Interface
Dissertation URL:
Linguistic Field: Syntax 
Subject Language: Greek (code: GRK)
Dissertation Director 1: Tanya Reinhart
Dissertation Director 2: Norbert Corver
Dissertation Director 3: Martin Everaert
Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation presents a discussion of argument realization on the
basis of theta-roles and case. Parametric variation between languages
like Greek, on the one hand, and languages like Italian and French, on
the other, is captured by a theory of lexico-semantic operations on
theta and case features based on Reinhart's Theta System.
The comparison of Greek and Italian/French reveals that Greek lacks
reflexivization and reciprocal formation of benefactors, as well as
certain types of impersonals. This follows from one generalization:
only the argument that would otherwise appear in the accusative case
may be reduced in all instances of argument alternations in
Greek. These facts are explained under the hypothesis that suffixes
and clitics have different case properties. The morphological
reflection of argument reduction through a suffix, as in Greek, is
accompanied by obligatory absorption of the verbal accusative
feature. If the morphological reflection of argument reduction is
manifested by a clitic, as in Italian/French, a wider array of case
marking, including dative or nominative, is involved. Reflexives,
reciprocals and impersonals thus appear in a larger variety of
Two case-related operations are distinguished. Case-absorption, which
originates from the Government and Binding framework of the 80s and
results in the elimination of a case feature, and Case-checking, which
has mostly been developed in the Minimalist framework of the 90s, and
results in the expression of a case feature on a given nominal
complex. It is argued that both mechanisms are needed to properly
account for the behaviour of valency affecting clitics/affixes and
object clitics.
This thesis is of interest to researchers concerned with argument
structure realization, and the way lexical information affects the
syntactic derivation, and to scholars working on Greek and on
Generative Syntax more in general.
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