Directions from the GET-GO. On the syntax of manner-of-motion verbs in directional constructions

Marcel den Dikken


Directional resultatives show puzzling syntactic restrictions. In Romance, broadly speaking, they do not occur at all with manner-of-motion verbs. In Dutch, directional resultatives with mannerof- motion verbs usually force postpositional order in the directional PP — but prepositional order is grammatical under cir cumstances that have so far defied a unified and insightful account. Focusing primarily on Dutch, this paper presents an analysis of directional resultative constructions and the syntactic representation of manner of motion which is centred around the following main claims: (a) directional resultative construc tions with manner-of-motion verbs can in principle be built on either of two structures, one featuring the light verb GO and the other the light verb GET; (b) while both light verbs take a small-clausal complement, GET takes one that is headed by a particle; (c) the particle in GET-constructions can license a null directional P in the struc ture of directional PPs built on a non-inherently directional adposition, and deliver prepositional order; (d) the absence of a particle in GO-constructions forces the null directional P in directional PPs built on non-inherently directional adpositions to either incorporate into GO or have the locative P embedded in its com plement to raise up to it; (e) manner-of-motion verbs have a MANNER component adjoined to GO/GET; (f) P–incorporation into MANNER-modified GO/GET is inadmissible (due to a ban on multiple adjunction to the same head); (g) in GO+MANNER structures, a null directional P can hence be licensed only by having a loc a tive P raise up to it; (h) raising of a locative P up to a directional P results in postpositional word order in Dutch, whereas the absence of raising of PLoc up to PDir delivers prepositional surface order.


directional resultatives, manner-of-motion verbs, postpositions, Dutch

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Copyright (c) 2010 Marcel den Dikken