Building complex events: the case of Sicilian Doubly Inflected Construction

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We examine the Doubly Inflected Construction of Sicilian (DIC; Cardinaletti and Giusti 2001, 2003, Cruschina 2013), in which a motion verb V1 from a restricted set is followed by an event verb V2 and both verbs are inflected for the same person and tense features. The interpretation of DIC involves a complex event which behaves as a single, integrated event by linguistic tests. Based on data drawn from different sources, we argue that DIC is an asymmetrical serial verb construction (Aikhenvald 2006). We propose an analysis of DIC in which V1 and V2 enter the semantic composition as lexical verbs, with V1 contributing a motion event and projecting a theme and a goal argument which are identified, respectively, with an agent and a location argument projected by V2. A morphosyntactic mechanism of feature-spread requires that the person and tense features be realized both on V1 and on V2, while, semantically, these features are interpreted only once, in a position from which they take scope over the complex predicate resulting from the combination of V1 and V2. The semantic analysis is based on an operation of event concatenation, defined over spatio-temporally contiguous events which share specific participants, and is implemented in a neo-Davidsonian framework (Parsons 1990).
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Archival date: 2018-09-25
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