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Voice and v

Voice and v: Lessons from Acehnese

Julie Anne Legate
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 208
  • Book Info
    Voice and v
    Book Description:

    InVoice and v,Julie Anne Legate investigates the syntactic structure of voice, using Acehnese as the empirical starting point. A central claim is that voice is encoded in a functional projection, VoiceP, which is distinct from, and higher than, vP. Legate further claims that VoiceP may be associated with phi-features that semantically restrict the external argument position but do not saturate it. Through minor variations in the properties of VoiceP, Legate explains a wide range of non-canonical voice constructions, including: agent-agreeing passives, grammatical object passives, impersonals, object voice constructions, and applicative voice in causatives. Her analysis draws on data from a typologically diverse set of languages, not only Malayo-Polynesian, but also Celtic, Scandinavian, and Slavic.Voice and vprovides a detailed investigation into the syntactic structure of an understudied Malayo-Polynesian language, and thereby reveals important insights for the theoretical analysis of voice and the verb phrase. Moreover, the work applies and broadens these insights to a range of related passive-like constructions crosslinguistically.Voice and vthus joins a handful of model volumes that enlist typological depth and breadth to further our development of modern linguistic theory.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-32055-9
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Series Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Samuel Jay Keyser

    We are pleased to present the sixty-ninth volume in the seriesLinguistic Inquiry Monographs. These monographs present new and original research beyond the scope of the article. We hope they will benefit our field by bringing to it perspectives that will stimulate further research and insight.

    Originally published in limited edition, theLinguistic Inquiry Monographsare now more widely available. This change is due to the great interest engendered by the series and by the needs of a growing readership. The editors thank the readers for their support and welcome suggestions about future directions for the series....

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    This book is an investigation of the syntactic structure of voice, using Acehnese (Malayo-Polynesian) as the empirical starting-point.¹ One central claim of the book is that voice is syntactically encoded in a functional projection, VoiceP, which is distinct from, and higher than, vP.

    In the mid-1990s, the existence of a functional projection within the verb phrase was discovered, termed vP in Chomsky 1995b and VoiceP in Kratzer 1996. Since that time, this functional projection has played a significant role in linguistic theorizing and has had numerous functions attributed to it; primary among these is the introduction of the external θ-role...

  7. 2 Passive Voice
    (pp. 9-46)

    I begin this investigation of the syntax of voice with an in-depth analysis of the passive voice in Acehnese. I argue that Acehnese passive voice provides evidence for the existence in the passive of a Voice that introduces the external θ-role, and for the existence of restrictiveφ-features associated with Voice.

    Acehnese came to the attention of linguistic researchers in the 1970s with Lawler’s (1977) surprising claim that the language exhibits a passive in which the verb agrees with the initiator in the ‘by’-phrase, rather than with the grammatical subject. Such a passive is not otherwise known to exist.¹ However,...

  8. 3 Object Voice
    (pp. 47-84)

    In this chapter, I demonstrate that Acehnese has a second nonactive voice, which I termobject voice, illustrated in (89a). For comparison, (89b,c) illustrate the corresponding active and passive, respectively.

    (89) a.Object voice

    Ibrahim ka dokto peu-ubat.

    Ibrahim pfv doctor caus-medicine

    ‘Ibrahim was treated by the doctor.’

    b.Active voice

    Dokto ka geu-peu-ubat Ibrahim.

    doctor pfv 3pol-caus-medicine Ibrahim

    ‘The doctor has treated Ibrahim.’

    c.Passive voice

    Ibrahim ka geu-peu-ubat lé dokto.

    Ibrahim pfv 3pol-caus-medicine by doctor

    ‘Ibrahim was treated by the doctor.’

    This construction is characterized by (i) loss of the verbal prefix, (ii) placement of the initiator immediately...

  9. 4 A Cline of Passives
    (pp. 85-110)

    In chapters 2 and 3, I used Acehnese data to analyze two distinct nonactive voices: the passive voice, in which semantically interpretable features that restrict the initiator θ-role appear on Voice, and the object voice, in which a DP bearing the initiator θ-role appears in the specifier of VoiceP but does not raise to become the grammatical subject. In this chapter, I discuss two additional passive-like constructions found in other languages: the grammatical object passive and the impersonal. I argue that the grammatical object passive is similar to the Acehnese passive in that semantically interpretable φ-features restrict the initiator θ-role,...

  10. 5 Voice and Causatives
    (pp. 111-140)

    A number of researchers have begun to converge on the notion that VoiceP must be distinguished from vP (see, e.g., Alexiadou et al. 2006, Marantz 2008, Pylkkänen 2008, Harley 2009).¹ This chapter provides additional evidence for the independence of Voice from v through Acehnese causative constructions.² The Acehnese case is particularly significant in that it fills an apparent empirical gap: Harley (2009, 335–336) while arguing for the distinction between Voice and v, worries, “Why is there so little morphological attestation of the distinct Voice vs. v⁰ heads crosslinguistically? One doesn’t see both vcausand Voice⁰ independently and simultaneously realized...

  11. 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 141-142)

    This book has been concerned with probing the syntactic properties of voice, using Acehnese data as the starting point. In chapter 2, I argued for a new analysis of the implicit initiator in passives: this is present on the Voice head, both as a θ-role, introduced but not assigned to any DP, and as features restricting this θ-position. These features are morphologically overt in Acehnese, providing particularly salient evidence for their presence. Along the way, I disconfirmed the prevalent claim that Acehnese lacks grammatical functions, demonstrating evidence for a grammatical subject position. The analysis of passives also provides an explanation...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 143-162)
  13. References
    (pp. 163-184)
  14. Index
    (pp. 185-190)
  15. Linguistic Inquiry Monographs
    (pp. 191-194)
    Samuel Jay Keyser