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Title: Complex predicates in English
Author: Chang, K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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This dissertation presents an approach to complex predicates in English which occupy the V and X(P) slots in the surface pattern V-NP-X(P) (e.g. look it up). Drawing on both standard and novel arguments and evidence, the approach proposes a constructional analysis of many V-X(P) combinations as grammatical units that are formed through the interaction of lexical templates and phrasal syntax. The analysis builds on two design features of the language. The first constraint organises constructions from the tightest to loosest combinations in the language (e.g. Givón 2001). It permits a generalisation of V-X(P) constructions from idiomatic instances (e.g. look up) to two more general grammatical patterns that differ from each other in form and meaning. One is a V-X pattern (e.g. put in) and the other a V-XP pattern that has an ‘additional’ argument phrase, either nominal or verbal (e.g. put in the box). The second constraint divides the labour of constructional combination between the morpho-lexical and syntactic components with respect to ‘restrictive’ and ‘free’ combination (e.g. Jackendoff 1997a). It straddles the V-XP units between the V-X pattern that is restricted to the lexicon and the argument phrase that unifies freely or ‘openly’ with that pattern at phrasal syntax (e.g. put in NP). Based on these two constraints, the thesis suggests an inventory of the V-X(P) units which is structured from ‘fixed’ to ‘closed’ and ‘open’ types. The inventory plays a key role in explaining not only the surface ordering of the ‘mixed’ units built on two of these lexical types, but also the (un-)grammaticality of tough constructions that take a closed or open complement. The study also offers an account of the V-X(P) units by developing Jackendoff’s (2002a) constructional idioms and employing Culicover and Jackendoff’s (2005) formal machinery. The account provides an analysis of the units as templates and words which are stored in the permanent lexicon with a ‘single’ meaning and are fully fused in the working lexicon or, if partially fused therein, in the phrasal syntax.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available