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Title: Possession and Datives: Binary Branching from the Lexicon to Syntax
Authors: Tremblay, Mireille
Keywords: Generative Grammar
Issue Date: 1991
Publisher: McGill University
Abstract: This thesis investigates the representation of Possesion both in the lexicon and syntax within the Government and Binding framework. The relevant data come primarily from nominal and copular possessive constructions in French. It is argued that the canonical realization for possessive NPs in French is the postnominal dative construction: [ N NP+DAT]. Such dative phrases need not be governed by the licensing head; dative case is a default Case in French and the dative NP can be licensed under predication. This follows from the dynamic nature of the possessive relation which triggers binary branching at all levels of representation. It is further argued that French has two copulas: avoir and etre. Their distributional difference follows from the fact that avoir is a Case assigner. This proposal allows for a unified analysis of possessive etre and avoir constructions in terms of Case. Extending to ditransitive constructions, alternations of internal arguments can be accounted for if one posits that internal arguments must be thematically linked. The two internal arguments form a Small Clause, and their respective order follows from the nature of their thematic link.
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