The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LF Reading Group 11/15 - Tanya Bondarenko (MIT)

Speaker: Tanya Bondarenko (MIT)
Title: Results, Repetitives and Datives: towards an account of the crosslinguistic variation
Date and time: Wednesday November 15, 4-5pm
Location: 32-D461

Repetitive adverbs like ‘again’ are ambiguous in sentences with dative (= indirect) arguments in some languages (ex., in English, (1)), but not in others (ex., in Russian, (2)):

(1) Thilo gave Satoshi the map again.
REP(etitive): ‘Thilo gave Satoshi the map again, and that had happened before.’
RES(titutive): ‘Thilo gave Satoshi the map, and Satoshi had had the map before.’
(Beck & Johnson 2004: 113)

(2) Maša opjat’ otdala Vase kartu.
Masha.NOM again gave Vasja.DAT map.ACC
REP(etitive): ‘Masha gave Vasja the map, and that had happened before.’
RES(titutive): *’Masha gave Vasja the map, and Vasja had had the map before.’

Following the structural ambiguity approach to repetitives ((von Stechow 1996), (Beck 2005), among others), I will argue that the availability of the restitutive reading in constructions with dative arguments depends on the syntactic configuration. The restitutive reading in ditransitives has been previously attributed either to presence of a small clause in the structure (Beck & Johnson 2004), or on the presence of an applicative phrase (Bruening 2010). I will explore another hypothesis: that the restitutive reading arises due to existence of a prepositional phrase in the structure.