External arguments and the Mirror Principle: On the distinctness of Voice and v

Heidi Harley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    89 Citations (Scopus)


    Evidence from the Uto-Aztecan language Hiaki (Yaqui) shows that the internal structure of the verb phrase is tripartite, made up of (at least) VoiceP, vP and a lexical projection (√P or VP). The interaction of applicative and causative morphology, the existence of two kinds of causatives, and the interaction of passive and verbalizing morphology show that the external-argument introducing projection VoiceP (Kratzer, 1996) must be distinct from the verbalizing head vP (Marantz, 1997), as first proposed by Pylkkänen (2002) and subsequently by Cuervo (2003), Collins (2005), Alexiadou et al. (2006), Merchant (2008) and Harley (2009), among many others. This result stands in opposition to earlier proposals in which a single projection, vP, serves both to verbalize and to introduce the external argument, as in Chomsky (1995), Marantz (1997), and Harley (1995). It also challenges the conclusions of Coon and Preminger (2010), who give explicit arguments for the identity of external-argument-introducing Voice and verbalizing v.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-57
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: Alexiadou, A., Anagnostopoulou, E., Schäfer, F., 2006. The properties of anticausatives crosslinguistically. In: Frascarelli, M. (Ed.), Phases of Interpretation. Mouton, Berlin, pp. 187--211.
    Alsina, A., 1992. On the argument structure of causatives. Linguistic Inquiry 23 (4), 517--555.
    Baker, M., 1985. The mirror principle and morphosyntactic explanation. Linguistic Inquiry 16 (3), 373--415.
    Baker, M., 1988. Incorporation: A Theory of Grammatical Function Changing. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
    Baker, M., Stewart, T., 2002. A serial verb construction without constructions. Ms. Rutgers University.
    Baker, M., Johnson, K., Roberts, I., 1989. Passive arguments raised. Linguistic Inquiry 20 (2), 219--251.
    Bobaljik, J., 1994. What does adjacency do? MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 22, 1--32.
    Borer, H., 2003. Exo-skeletal vs. endo-skeletal explanations: syntactic projections and the lexicon. In: Moore, J., Polinsky, M. (Eds.), The Nature of
    Explanation in Linguistic Theory. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 31--67.
    Borer, H., 2005. Structuring Sense, Volume 2: The normal course of events. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
    Buell, L., Sy, M., 2006. Affix ordering in Wolof applicatives and causatives. In: John Mugane, John P. Hutchison, Dee A. Worman, (Eds.), Selected
    Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics in Broad Perspectives. Cascadilla
    Press, Somerville, MA, pp. 214--224.
    Chomsky, N., 1965. Aspects of the theory of syntax. The MIT Press, Cambridge. Chomsky, N., 1995. The Minimalist Program. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
    Chomsky, N., 1999. Derivation by phase. MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics 18, 1--43. Collins, C., 2005. A smuggling approach to the passive in English. Syntax 8 (2), 81--120.
    31 Ontheotherhand,itcouldbelikethePROexternalargumentofHallman(inthisissue),whichseemstoserveexactlythesamepurposeand have the crucial characteristics needed in the relevant ways to make his proposal fit exactly with the facts here. However, it is not clear how to extend the smuggling analysis proposed there to the case of Hiaki, given the ordering of -tevo and other morphemes in the verbal complex. Note that the implicit argument of passives, while it can control into adjuncts (in English), cannot serve as an antecedent for reflexive pronouns (*A book was given to oneself/themselves), and hence is unlike the PRO subject of infinitivals. The relationship between Hallman’s PRO and Wurmbrand’s notion of semantic control, and the implications for the clausal architecture developed here, is very much worthy of future study.
    32 One significant issue with this approach again involves applicatives, however. How can we ensure that the variable must be bound by the element in spec-VoiceP, even when there’s a closer potential binder occupying Spec-ApplP in an applicative? The same problem would arise for syntactic empty-category approaches to the lower argument as well, at least if the bound argument were anything like PRO, the most likely candidate for a Case-neutral, theta-receiving empty category with an impersonal interpretation when not syntactically bound.

    56 H. Harley / Lingua 125 (2013) 34--57
    Coon, J., Preminger, O. 2010. Transitivity in Chol: a new argument for the split-VP hypothesis. Talk presented at the 41st meeting of the North East Linguistics Society, University of Pennsylvania, Oct. 22--24, 2010. To appear in: L. Fainleib, N. LaCara, Y. Park (Eds.), NELS 41: Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society, Amherst, MA: GLSA. (Pre-publication version downloadable here: http:// people.linguistics.mcgill.ca/$jessica/Papers_and_handouts_files/CoonPrem.pdf).
    Cuervo, M.C., 2003. Datives at large. Doctoral Dissertation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    de Belder, M., 2011. Roots and affixes: eliminating lexical categories from syntax. Ph.D. Thesis. Utrecht University.
    Dedrick, J.M., Casad, E.H., 1999. Sonora Yaqui Language Structures. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.
    Emonds, J.E., 1970. Root and structure-preserving transformations. Doctoral Dissertation. MIT.
    Escalante, F., 1990. Setting the record straight on Yaqui passives. International Journal of American Linguistics 56, 389--392.
    Folli, R., Harley, H., 2005. Flavors of v: Consuming results in Italian and English. In: Slabakova, R., Kempchinsky, P. (Eds.), Aspectual Inquiries.
    Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 95--120.
    Folli, R., Harley, H., 2007. Causation, obligation, and argument structure: on the nature of little v. Linguistic Inquiry 38 (2), 197--238.
    Folli, R., Harley, H., Karimi, S., 2005. Determinants of event structure in Persian complex predicates. Lingua 115.10, 1365--1401.
    Good, J., 2005. Reconstructing morpheme order in Bantu: the case of causativization and applicativization. Diachronica 22 (1), 3--57.
    Hale, K., Keyser, S.J., 1993. On argument structure and the lexical expression of syntactic relations. In: Hale, K., Keyser, S.J. (Eds.), The View
    from Building, vol. 20. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 53--109.
    Hale, K., Keyser, S.J., 2002. Prolegomenon to a theory of argument structure. MIT Press, Cambridge.
    Harada, S., 1973. Counter-Equi NP-Deletion. Annual Bulletin 7. Research Institute of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Tokyo University, pp. 113--148. Harley, H., 1995. Subjects, events and licensing. Doctoral Dissertation. MIT.
    Harley, H., 2005. How do verbs get their names? Denominal verbs, Manner Incorporation and the ontology of verb roots in English. In: Erteschik-
    Shir, N., Rapoport, T. (Eds.), The Syntax of Aspect. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 42--65.
    Harley, H., 2008. On the causative construction. In: Miyagawa, S., Saito, M. (Eds.), Handbook of Japanese Linguistics. Oxford University Press,
    Oxford, pp. 20--53.
    Harley, H., 2009. The morphology of nominalizations and the syntax of vP. In: Rathert, M., Giannakidou, A. (Eds.), Quantification, Definiteness,
    and Nominalization. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 320--342.
    Harley, H., 2009. The morphology of nominalizations and the syntax of vP. In: Giannakidou, A., Rathert, M. (Eds.), Quantification, definiteness and
    nominalization. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 321--343.
    Haugen, J., Blanco, T., Harley, H., 2009. Applicative constructions and suppletive verbs in Hiaki (Yaqui). In: Lanz, L., Franklin, A., Hoecker, J.,
    Gentry Brunner, E., Morrison, M., Pace, C. (Eds.), Rice Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. 1. Rice University Department of Linguistics,
    Houston, TX, pp. 42--51.
    Hyman, L., 2003. Suffix ordering in Bantu: a morphocentric approach. Yearbook of Morphology 2002, 245--281.
    Kallulli, D., 2006. A unified analysis of passives, anticausatives and reflexives. In: Bonami, O., Cabredo Hofherr, P. (Eds.), Empircal Issues in
    Syntax and Semantics, vol. 6. CSSP, Paris, pp. 201--225, Available at http://www.cssp.cnrs.fr/eiss6/kallulli-eiss6.pdf.
    Kayne, R.S. 1969. The transformational cycle in French syntax. Doctoral Dissertation. MIT.
    Kayne, R.S., 1994. Antisymmetry. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
    Kharytonava, V., 2011. Noms composés en turc et morphème --(s)I. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Western Ontario.
    Koontz-Garboden, A., 2007. States, changes of state, and the Monotonicity Hypothesis. Doctoral Dissertation. Stanford University.
    Kratzer, A., 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In: Rooryck, J., Zaring, L. (Eds.), Phrase Structure, the Lexicon. Springer,
    Dordrecht, pp. 109--137.
    Kural, M., 1996. Verb incorporation and elementary predicates. Doctoral Dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles.
    Kuroda, S.Y., 1965. Causative forms in Japanese. Foundations of Language 1 (1), 30--50.
    Lakoff, G., 1971. On generative semantics. In: Steinberg, D.D., Jakobovits, L.A. (Eds.), Semantics: An Interdisciplinary Reader in Philosophy,
    Linguistics and Psychology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 232--296.
    Landau, I., 2009. Saturation and reification in adjectival diathesis. Journal of Linguistics 45, 315--361.
    Larson, R.K., 1988. On the double object construction. Linguistic Inquiry 19 (3), 335--391.
    Marantz, A., 1984. On the Nature of Grammatical Relations. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
    Marantz, A., 1997. No escape from syntax: don’t try morphological analysis in the privacy of your own lexicon. In: Dimitriadis, A. (Ed.), University of
    Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. 4 (2). pp. 201--225.
    McCawley, J., 1976. Grammar and Meaning. Academic Press, New York.
    McGinnis, M., 2001. Variation in the phase structure of applicatives. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 1 (1), 105--146.
    McGinnis, M., 2004. Lethal ambiguity. Linguistic Inquiry 35 (1), 47--95.
    McPherson, L., Paster, M., 2009. Evidence for the Mirror Principle and morphological templates in Luganda affix ordering. In: Akinloye, O.,
    Lioba, M. (Eds.), Selected proceedings of the 39th annual conference on African linguistics, Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project,
    pp. 56--66.
    Merchant, J., 2008. An asymmetry in voice mismatches in VP-ellipsis and pseudogapping. Linguistic Inquiry 39 (1), 169--179.
    Miyagawa, S., 1984. Blocking and Japanese causatives. Lingua 64 (2--3), 177--207.
    Miyagwa, S., 1994. ‘‘(S)ase as an elsewhere causative.’’ Program of the Conference on Theoretical Linguistics and Japanese Language
    Teaching, Tsuda University, pp. 61--76.
    Miyagawa, S., 1998. (S)ase as an elsewhere causative and the syntactic nature of words. Journal of Japanese Linguistics 16, 67--110. Molina, F.S., Shaul, D.L., Valenzuela, H., 1999. Yoeme-English English-Yoeme Dictionary: With a Comprehensive Grammar of the Yoeme
    Language. Hippocrene Books, New York.
    Pesetsky, D., Torrego, E., 2001. T-to-C movement: causes and consequences. In: Kenstowicz, M. (Ed.), Ken Hale: A Life in Language. MIT Press,
    Cambridge, MA, pp. 355--426.
    Pylkkänen, L., 2002. Introducing arguments. Doctoral Dissertation. MIT.
    Ramchand, G., 2006. Direct and indirect causation in Hindi. Paper presented at the Workshop on Clitics, Intonation and Causatives, University of
    H. Harley / Lingua 125 (2013) 34--57 57
    Ramchand, G., 2008. Verb meaning and the lexicon: A first-phase syntax. Cambridge studies in linguistics 116. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    Rude, N., 1996. Objetos dobles y relaciones gramaticales: el caso del yaqui. In: Memoria del III Encuentro de Lingüística en el Noroeste University of Hermosillo, Hermosillo, Mexico.
    Svenonius, P., 2005. Two domains of causatives. Unpublished Ms. CASTL, University of Tromsø.
    Travis, L., 1984. Parameters and effects of word order variation. Doctoral Dissertation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://dspace.mit.
    Travis, L., 2000. Event structure in syntax. In: Tenny, C.L., Pustejovsky, J. (Eds.), Events as Grammatical Objects: The Converging Perspectives
    of Lexical Semantics and Syntax. Stanford, CA, CSLI Publications, pp. 145--185. Wurmbrand, S., 2003. Infinitives: Restructuring and Clause Structure. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin.


    Dive into the research topics of 'External arguments and the Mirror Principle: On the distinctness of Voice and v'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this