David Embick Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, United States

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One of the basic questions in the theory of morphology concerns the nature of word formation: how morphemes are assembled into larger objects, and—crucially—whether there are distinct systems in which this occurs (lexicon versus syntax), or just one. Stative (a.k.a. “adjectival”) passives like opened in the opened door, or flattened in the metal is flattened, have provided an interesting testing ground for questions of this type. Following a period in which such passives were argued to be formed lexically, much subsequent work has developed the idea that they are derived syntactically, in fully phrasal structures. This paper examines a number of properties of English stative passives which raise problems for a fully phrasal treatment. These include (but are not limited to) (i) modification asymmetries relative to eventive passives; and (ii) interactions with un-prefixation. The generalizations that are revealed suggest that stative passives are built syntactically, but without phrasal internal structure: what I call small(er) syntax. Importantly, small structures are not tantamount to a lexical analysis; I provide a direct comparison that argues that the evidence favors the smaller type of approach. The argument for small structures has implications for the syntax of Roots that are introduced throughout the discussion.

  • Adamson, Luke. 2017. un-Answered questions. Qualifying paper. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Alexiadou, Artemis, Elena Anagnostopoulou and Florian Schäfer. 2015. External arguments in transitivity alternations: A layering approach (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 55). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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  • Benz, Johanna. 2021. Meaning composition in nominalization. Qualifying paper University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Bešlin, Maša. To appear. Revisiting passive participles: Category status and internal structure. Linguistic Inquiry.

  • Biggs, Alison. 2021. The done-state derived stative: A case study in building complex eventualities in syntax. Syntax 24(3). 297333.

  • Bruening, Benjamin. 2014. Word formation is syntactic: Adjectival passives in English. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32. 363422.

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  • Chomsky, Noam. 1970. Remarks on nominalization. In R. Jacobs and P. Rosenbaum (eds.) Readings in English transformational grammar. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. 184221.

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  • Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by phase. In M. Kenstowicz (ed.) Ken Hale: A life in language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 152.

  • Dowty, David. 1978. Governed transformations as lexical rules in a Montague grammar. Linguistic Inquiry 9(3). 393426.

  • Dowty, David. 1979. Word meaning and Montague grammar. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

  • Embick, David. 1997. Voice and the interfaces of syntax. Doctoral dissertation. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Embick, David. 2003. Locality, listedness, and morphological identity. Studia Linguistica 57(3). 143169.

  • Embick, David. 2004. On the structure of resultative participles in English. Linguistic Inquiry 35(3). 355392.

  • Embick, David. 2009. Roots, states and stative passives. Handout from a talk presented at the Roots 2 Workshop, Stuttgart, June 2009.

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  • Embick, David. 2010. Localism versus globalism in morphology and phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Embick, David. 2016. Approaching polymorphy. Handout of a lecture series given at Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Filosófico (SADAF), Buenos Aires.

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  • Embick, David. 2021. The motivation for Roots in Distributed Morphology. Annual Review of Linguistics 7(1). 6988.

  • Embick, David and Alec Marantz. 2008. Architecture and blocking. Linguistic Inquiry 39(1). 153.

  • Embick, David and Rolf Noyer. 2001. Movement operations after syntax. Linguistic Inquiry 32(4). 555595.

  • Grimshaw, Jane. 1990. Argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Horn, Laurence R. 2005. An un- paper for the unsyntactician. In S. S. Mufwene, E. J. Francis and R. S. Wheeler (eds.) Polymorphous linguistics: Jim McCawley's legacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 329365.

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  • Jespersen, Otto. 1917. Negation in English and other languages. Copenhagen: A.F. Høst.

  • Kayne, Richard S. 2017. Anitymmetry and morphology: Prefixes vs. suffixes. Wiener Linguistische Gazette 82. 145161.

  • Kratzer, Angelika. 1994. The event argument and the semantics of voice. Manuscript. UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA.

  • Kratzer, Angelika. 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In J. Rooryck and L. Zaring (eds.) Phrase structure and the lexicon. Dordrecht: Kluwer. 109137.

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  • Kratzer, Angelika. 2001. Building statives. Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 26. 385399.

  • Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport. 1986. The formation of adjectival passives. Linguistic Inquiry 17(4). 623661.

  • Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport-Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity: At the syntax/lexical semantics interface. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Lieber, Rochelle. 1992. Deconstructing morphology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Marantz, Alec. 1984. On the nature of grammatical relations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Marantz, Alec. 2009. Resultatives and re-resultatives: Direct objects may construct events by themselves. Talk handout, NYU.

  • Marantz, Alec. 2022. Rethinking the syntactic role of word formation. In N. Boneh, D. Harbour, O. Matushansky and I. Roy (eds.) Building on Babel's rubble. Paris: PUV. 293316.

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  • McIntyre, Andrew. 2013. Adjectival passives and adjectival participles in English. In A. Alexiadou and F. Schäfer (eds.) Non-canonical passives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 2142.

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  • McIntyre, Andrew. 2015. Event modifiers in (German) adjectival participles: Remarks on Gehrke (this issue). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33. 939953.

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  • Müller, Stefan. 2006. Discussion note: Phrasal or lexical constructions? Language 82(4). 850883.

  • Nissenbaum, Jon. 2018. Four compositional puzzles: An argument against the existence of passive morphemes. Talk handout, Brooklyn College.

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  • Paparounas, Lefteris. In prep. Voice from syntax to syncretism. Doctoral dissertation. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Parsons, Terence. 1990. Events in the semantics of English: A study in subatomic semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Simpson, Jane. 1983. Resultatives. In M. Rappaport, L. Levin and A. Zaenen (eds.) Papers in lexical-functional grammar. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Linguistics Club.

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  • Stechow, Arnim von. 1996. The different readings of wieder ‘again’: A structural account. Journal of Semantics 17(2). 87138.

  • Vlach, Frank. 1981. The semantics of the progressive. In P. Tedeschi and A. Zaenen (eds.) Syntax and semantics 14: Tense and aspect. Ann Arbor, MI: Academic Press. 271292.

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  • Wasow, Thomas. 1977. Transformations and the lexicon. In P. Culicover, T. Wasow and A. Akmajian (eds.) Formal syntax. New York, NY: Academic Press. 327360.

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  • Wechsler, Stephen. 2005. Resultatives under the “event-argument homomorphism” model of telicity. In N. Erteschik-Shir and T. Rapoport (eds.) The syntax of aspect. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 255273.

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  • Williams, Alexander. 2005. Complex causatives and verbal valence. Doctoral dissertation. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Williams, Alexander. 2015. Arguments in syntax and semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Wood, Jim. 2023. Icelandic nominalizations and allosemy. Manuscript. Yale University, New Haven, CT. To appear at Oxford University Press.

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  • Zimmer, Karl. 1964. Affixal negation in English and other languages. Supplement to Word 20.

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