LINGUIST List 15.3057

Thu Oct 28 2004

Diss: Synax: Diaconescu: 'Romanian Applicative...'

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        1.    Constanta Diaconescu, Romanian Applicative Constructions

Message 1: Romanian Applicative Constructions

Date: 27-Oct-2004
From: Constanta Diaconescu <>
Subject: Romanian Applicative Constructions

Institution: University of Ottawa
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Constanta Rodica Diaconescu

Dissertation Title: Romanian Applicative Constructions

Linguistic Field(s):
Semantics; Syntax

Subject Language(s):
Romanian Language Code: RUM

Dissertation Director:
Maria-Luisa Rivero

Dissertation Abstract:

The aim of this work is the investigation of the syntactic and semantic
properties of Romanian clitic doubled la/real dative arguments. The
proposal of this thesis is that clitic doubled 'la'/real dative arguments
are applicative arguments. The premise of assuming the existence of
applicative constructions in Romanian is the alternation of clitic
doubled/non clitic doubled dative arguments. Traditional grammar assumes
that Romanian dative arguments are optionally clitic doubled. This thesis
argues that this optionality is only apparent, and that the dative clitic
is the morphological spell-out of an applicative head which licenses the
dative argument as its specifier and relates it to the structure it takes
as a complement. Applicative arguments are morphologically marked, can
appear with both transitive and intransitive verbs, and have a wide range
of meanings. The series of meanings of Romanian applicative (i.e., clitic
doubled dative) arguments are foreseen by the series of the complements an
applicative head may take or by the series of applicatives of which a
phrase can be a complement. This proposal provides the set of positions
into which an applicative head can merge and license a dative argument, as
well as the set of interpretations the argument can obtain in each
position. The set of positions may be verified cross-linguistically, but
languages can differ with respect to the positions into which an
applicative head is allowed to merge. These assumptions generalize to
applied arguments in languages in which they are not marked by dative case
(e.g., Greek, English and Bantu languages). To the best of the thesis
author's knowledge, this is the first attempt both to propose the existence
of applicative constructions in Romanian and to investigate 'la' datives.

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