In this dissertation, I investigate applicative arguments of German and English, focusing on the type of meaning that they contribute.
Author: Solveig Jana Bosse
Category: English language
In this dissertation, I investigate applicative arguments of German and English, focusing on the type of meaning that they contribute. I show that some applicatives contribute only not-at-issue meaning, others contribute only at-issue meaning, and still others contribute both types of meaning. English has one applicative type for each meaning contribution: the subject co-referential applicative argument which contributes only not-at-issue meaning, the recipient benefactive applicative which contributes only at-issue meaning, and the affected experiencer which contributes both types of meaning. German also has the affected experiencer applicative which contributes both types of meaning and the subject co-referential contributing only not-at-issue meaning. In addition, German has an ethical dative which contributes only not-at-issue meaning. Furthermore, German has three applicatives that contribute only at-issue meaning: true benefactives, part-whole applicative arguments and Datives of Inaction. I argue that all of these different types of applicative arguments can and must be distinguished. I provide syntactic and semantic analyses for all of these applicatives showing that a unifed treatment of applicative arguments as, for instance, Pylkkänen (2002) proposes is not desirable.