The syntax, semantics and argument structure of complex predicates in modern Farsi.

Titre: The syntax, semantics and argument structure of complex predicates in modern Farsi.
Auteur(s): Vahedi-Langrudi, Mohammad-Mehdi.
Date: 1996
Résumé: This thesis studies the argument structure and formation of the very productive and frequent complex verbal structures in Modern Farsi (MF), i.e., Persian, known as compound verbs or Complex Predicates (CP). CPs are complex verbal structures made up of a preverbal element (PV) and a verb. The verbal element is normally a light, bleached, and/or backgrounded verb (LV). The PVs may belong to any of the lexical categories nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or to prepositional phrases (PP). The combinations of PVs and LVs form single semantic and syntactic verbal predicates that constitute the major body of verbal predicates in MF, i.e., CPs. However, there seems to exist a major dichotomy in the syntactic and lexical function of CPs in MF. CPs exhibit the sort of lexical information and co-occurrence conditions ordinarily associated with derived or compounded words, and participate in derivational morphology, yet their status as syntactically atomic morphological objects is questionable since their parts are separable in syntax where they behave as finite predicates. To resolve the dichotomy and account for the function and structure of CPs as X$\sp0$ and X$\sp{\max}$ items, I suggest two isomorphic levels of syntactic structure in the format of X-bar theory in the lexical and syntactic components. I argue that both full verbs and their equivalent LVs share the isomorphic syntactic structure. Both types of verbs belong to the universal category verbs which take a single complement in the lexical and syntactic domains. Word-formation, i.e., conflation/incorporation, takes place in the morphological and/or the lexical component but not in the syntactic one which accounts for the dual behaviour of the CPs at the two levels. I argue that LVs are bleached predicates of existence and account for their semantic and syntactic behaviour by recourse to Definiteness Effect (DE). On the other hand, we notice that NPs/XPs that occur as PVs within CPs are all weak and indefinite, and convey an existential reading. PVs are substantive and have non-logical content, but LVs are non-substantive. I argue that PVs substantiate the LVs by occurring within V-bar in the syntactic component. In the lexical domain, I adopt the theory of Lexical Relational Structure (LRS) of Hale & Keyser (1991, 1993) that is a syntactic, X-bar theory of argument structure. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
CollectionThèses, 1910 - 2005 // Theses, 1910 - 2005
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