Microparameters of cross-linguistic variation: Directed motion and resultatives

  • Son M
  • Svenonius P
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Abstract

It has been proposed that there is a parameter distinguishing languages like English, which have resultatives (e.g., _hammer the metal flat_) and directed motion readings with manner verbs (e.g., _float under the bridge_) from language like Spanish, which have neither. The goal of this paper is twofold: First, we argue, in agreement with some previous work, that the parameter breaks down into several subcases as finer-grained distinctions of each each construction are identified, and that the previous macro-parametric analyses of these two constructions cannot explain the right degree of variation. Second, we provide an alternative analysis of directed manner of motion constructions (hereafter, DMMC) and resultative constructions cross-linguistically, which locates variation across language in the specifications of vocabulary items, defending a micro-parametric approach to language variation.

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Authors

  • Minjeong Son

  • Peter Svenonius

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