Thursday 27 November

Speaker: Liisa Buelens (Ghent University)
Title: External and Event Possession in Flemish: affected arguments
Venue:  Arsenaal 112
Time: 15:15 – 16:30

In this talk I look at Flemish External Possession patterns (FEP) such as in (1) (Haegeman, 2011, Haegeman and van Koppen, 2012). These structures seem to be derived from the internal doubling possessor (2), where the possessor is related to the possessee by a possessive pronoun coreferential with the possessor.

(1)   twas    spijtig               da      [Emma]  toen  just   [eur   velo]  kapot     was
        it.was  unfortunate   that    Emma    then   just    her    bike   broken   was
‘It was unfortunate that Emma’s bike was broken just then.’
(2)   [Emma   eur  velo]  was toen  just   kapot
        Emma    her  bike   was then   just    broken
‘Emma’s bike was broken just then.’

In the FEP the possessor is separated from the possessive DP (possessee and possessive pronoun) by an adjunct with clausal scope. The possessor also gains argument-like properties such as controlling complementizer agreement (when related to a subject possessee), and is restricted to affected contexts.

A restriction to affectedness contexts for a possessor argument is also found in Flemish Event Possessive (FEVP) where an affected (possessor) argument is related to an ‘event’ through possessive have– and be-patterns (3-4).

(3)   [Emma] eeft (‘t)  nog gehad  [da  ze    nie  na de   les     kon
   Emma    has  it     PRT            had that she  not       to       the     class       could     
meeda    eur      velo     kapot     was]
because  her     bike     broken   was
(4)   [Emma] eeft *(‘t)       nog           geweest [da  ze   nie      na           de       les         kon
   Emma    has  it     PRT                been       that she       not     to       the          class  could   
meeda        eur      velo   kapot     was]
because      her      bike   broken   was
‘Emma’s had it happen to her that she couldn’t go to class because her bike was broken.’

I argue that both the FEP and the FEVP the possessor arguments are in a position external to the possesive elements (DP and small clause, respectively) which carries an affectee interpretation.

Haegeman, Liliane. 2011. Adding positions: External possessors in (West) Flemish. In CASTL – State of the Sequence 2. Tromsø.
Haegeman, Liliane, and van Koppen, Marjo. 2012. Complementizer agreement and the relation between C and T. Linguistic Inquiry 43:441-454.


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