Verb-particle constructions in Romance: A lexical-syntactic account

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Abstract

In this paper, we deal with some important differences between Romance verb particle constructions and Germanic ones. Despite claims to the contrary (Iacobini & Masini, Morphology 16: 155-188, 2007), we argue that Romance languages (Italian included) consistently obey the Talmian generalization that non-directional manner verbs do not coappear with non-adjunct paths in Romance. We relate this generalization to the important restriction that those verbs that enter into verb-particle constructions in Romance encode or involve Path (e.g., It. Gianni è entrato dentro lit. 'Gianni entered inside'; Gianni è corso via 'Gianni ran away'; Gianni ha lavato via la macchia 'Gianni washed the stain away'); crucially, unlike Germanic, Romance does not allow verb-particle constructions where the verb encodes or involves pure manner (John danced away; John worked his debts off). We use Haugen's (Lingua 119: 242-262, 2009) syntactic distinction between Incorporation and Conflation to draw some relevant syntactic differences between Romance and Germanic verb-particle constructions: those ones formed via Incorporation are possible in Romance, while those ones formed via Conflation/Compounding are only possible in Germanic. ©Walter de Gruyter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-269
JournalProbus
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010

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