Arguing our way to the Direct Object Restriction on English resultatives

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Drawing on Hoekstra's (1988f) work on so-called 'small clause results' and Marantz's (1992) work on the way-construction and its relation to resultative constructions, in this article I argue my way to the conclusion that the so-called 'Direct Object Restriction' (DOR) on English resultatives must be reinstated, despite Rappaport Hovav and Levin's (2001) claims to the contrary. First, I review some of the main properties of resultative constructions that appear to motivate the syntactic approach, whose main descriptive tenet is the DOR. In particular, I show that the present analysis of the conflation process involved in the formation of complex resultatives allows us to offer an adequate explanation of their syntactic properties. Second, I put forward a relational syntactic analysis of the so-called 'way-construction'. In particular, I show that the present analysis helps us understand why the DOR holds for this idiomatic resultative-like construction as well. Finally, I deal with some exceptional cases put forward by Verspoor (1997) and Wechsler (1997), reviewed by Rappaport Hovav and Levin (2001), which appear to contradict the DOR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-82
JournalJournal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005


  • Conflation processes
  • Lexical syntax
  • Resultative constructions
  • Small clause results
  • The direct object restriction


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