Article published in:Formal Studies in Slovenian Syntax: In honor of Janez Orešnik
Edited by Franc Lanko Marušič and Rok Žaucer
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 236] 2016
► pp. 145–166
Unaccusatives in Slovenian from a cross-linguistic perspective
Ever since Perlmutter’s (1978) Unaccusative Hypothesis, intransitive verbs have been treated as comprising of two subclasses (i) unergatives, and (ii) unaccusatives. Evidence from sundry languages has shown that even though the unergative/unaccusative dichotomy is a universal property, there appears to be some language specific parametric variation as to the criteria for differentiating the two classes as well. In line with this claim, the present paper examines different diagnostic tests for unaccusativity/unergativity with a special focus on their (in)applicability to Slovenian data. Our analysis singles out three fairly reliable tests for determining the unaccusative status of Slovenian predicates: (i) the reduced relatives test, (ii) the impersonal passives test, and (iii) the secondary imperfectivization test. The discussion, however, also points out that none is flawless, as they also constitute false positives and false negatives.
Published online: 08 December 2016
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