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LINGUIST List 21.2381

Fri May 28 2010

Diss: Syntax: Tubino-Blanco: 'Contrasting Causatives: A minimalist ...'

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        1.    Mercedes Tubino-Blanco, Contrasting Causatives: A minimalist approach

Message 1: Contrasting Causatives: A minimalist approach
Date: 27-May-2010
From: Mercedes Tubino-Blanco <mtubinogmail.com>
Subject: Contrasting Causatives: A minimalist approach
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Institution: University of Arizona
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Mercedes Tubino-Blanco

Dissertation Title: Contrasting Causatives: A minimalist approach

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            Spanish (spa)
                            Yaqui (yaq)

Dissertation Director:
Andrew Carnie
Heidi B Harley
Rudolph Troike

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation explores the mechanisms behind the linguistic expression
of causation in English, Hiaki (Uto-Aztecan) and Spanish. Pylkkänen's
(2002, 2008) analysis of causatives as dependent on the parameterization of
the functional head vCAUSE is chosen as a point of departure. The studies
conducted in this dissertation confirm Pylkkänen's claim that all
causatives involve the presence of vCAUSE. They further confirm that
variation is conditioned by both the selectional and 'Voice-bundling'
properties of the causative head. I show that this pattern triggers
differences across languages, although other factors are also responsible
for the existence of multiple causative configurations within languages. In
some languages (e.g. English), causatives require the obligatory presence
of an external argument (i.e., Causer). I provide additional data
supporting Pylkkänen's proposal that causation (in certain languages) may
also exist in the absence of a syntactic Causer. In particular, I offer
data from Hiaki indirect causatives and Spanish desiderative causatives
(e.g., ¿Te hace salir? '2sg.dat (expl) makes go.out, Do you feel like going
out?'), and weather/temporal constructions (e.g., Hace mucho calor '(expl)
makes much heat, It's very hot') in support of this hypothesis.

The results of this research, however, question Pylkkänen's claim that
certain languages may allow the Root-causativization of transitives and
unergatives. I show that this is not possible even in languages that
exhibit Causer-less causatives (e.g., Hiaki). Moreover, certain
unaccusatives (e.g., arrive) also resist (Root) causativization
cross-linguistically, regardless of the 'Voice-bundling' properties
inherent to the causativizing head. I claim that this happens in contexts
in which unaccusative verbs exhibit 'unergative' behavior (i.e., whenever
they involve syntactic elements that are base-generated in positions higher
than the root).

Cross-linguistic variation in the expression of causation is not always a
direct consequence of the internal properties of the causative predicate.
Because of language-internal requirements, different languages impose
specific limitations on the syntactic realization of causative structures.
For instance, English and Spanish heavily rely on Agreement relations among
their constituents. The consequence of this is that it is difficult in
these languages to discern what elements really are part of causation and
what elements are not, as well as the nature of the elements involved in
causatives (e.g., whether the dative in Spanish productive causatives is an
external argument or an applicative). This dissertation addresses all these

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