25.3344, Diss: Germanic, English; Semantics, Syntax: Larsen: 'Particles and Particle-verb Constructions in English and Other Germanic Languages'

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Sat Aug 23 16:46:20 UTC 2014


LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3344. Sat Aug 23 2014. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 25.3344, Diss: Germanic, English; Semantics, Syntax: Larsen: 'Particles and Particle-verb Constructions in English and Other Germanic Languages'

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Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 12:45:22
From: Darrell Larsen []
Subject: Particles and Particle-verb Constructions in English and Other Germanic Languages

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Institution: University of Delaware 
Program: Department of Linguistics & Cognitive Science 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2014 

Author: Darrell Larsen

Dissertation Title: Particles and Particle-verb Constructions in English and
Other Germanic Languages 

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
                     Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Language Family(ies): Germanic


Dissertation Director(s):
Benjamin Bruening
Peter Cole
Marcel den Dikken
Jeffrey Heinz

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation examines the lexical semantics of particles and the syntax of particles and 
particle-verb constructions. I argue against the notion that there are distinct types of particles (e.g. 
resultative versus idiomatic versus aspectual), claiming instead that they are semantic predicates 
consisting of an often metaphorical spatial meaning and, with a few exceptions, an unpronounced 
Ground argument. As a result, particle verbs are argued to be semantically compositional. The 
syntactic behavior of particle verbs is primarily explained through the adoption of the following 
major claims: (i) particles are optionally projecting syntactic heads whose topmost projection 
merges with a verbal head to form either a complex head or a resultative-like structure; (ii) 
nonprojecting particles (which combine with verbs to form complex heads) remain in situ, the verb 
raising out of the complex via phonological head movement; and (iii) objects raise to receive Case 
by LF, but they may do so overtly or covertly. These claims are shown to account for the behavior 
of the particle-verb construction when interacting with a wide range of other phenomena. The 
adoption of a further claim---(iv) ECM subjects of small-clauses preferably or obligatorily 
(depending on the speaker) raise out of the small clause overtly, whereas ECM subjects of IPs 
need not---is then shown to be able to explain the pattern of grammaticality and acceptability 
judgments encountered in the so-called ‘complex’ particle-verb constructions. Finally, the ability of 
particle verbs to undergo various word-formation processes is considered within the context of 
these theoretical assumptions.






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