Secondary predicates and tense

Date of Completion

January 1994


Language, Linguistics




Within the framework of the principles and parameters approach to linguistic theory, this study investigates the properties of predicates, with reference to the stage-level/individual-level distinction (Milsark, 1974, Carlson, 1977, Kratzer, 1989, Diesing, 1992, among others).^ Given Kratzer's (1989) event argument hypothesis and theta-identification (Higginbotham, 1985), this study proposes that a predicate must be associated with tense, either by theta-identification or by raising to tense in LF, in order to assign its most external theta-role. Assuming that theta-identification is restricted to event theta-roles, individual-level predicates (I-predicates) can be associated with tense only by raising. This hypothesis is shown to explain the impossibility of I-predicates appearing in sentences containing an adjunct secondary predicate (SP).^ This proposal has the consequence that theta-role assignment is derivational. Since, under the raising option, the most external theta-role of a predicate is assigned after it has combined with tense in Logical Form (LF). In Chapters 3 and 4, it is shown that the intransitive resultative construction and the small clause construction are two of such instances. Given that theta-role assignment is derivational, it is concluded that the Projection Principle (Chomsky, 1981) cannot be maintained as stated. Rather, it is required that theta-relations must be established by LF. This further leads to the conclusion that motivations for D-structure and S-structure are weakened.^ Finally, it is demonstrated that the analysis can extend to Japanese. It has been argued that one type of numeral quantifiers, called floating quantifiers (FQs), are SPs (Miyagawa (1986, 1988, 1989) and Ueda (1986)). This claim in conjunction with the present proposal on S/I-predicates leads to the conclusion that FQs allow two types of structures (Sportiche (1988) and Williams (1980)). This hypothesis is shown to account for the unscramblabilily of a FQ modifying a non-affected theme object as well as the behavior of Op in comparative deletion (Ishii, 1991). FQs in Japanese, then, provide empirical support for the analysis of predicates entertained in this dissertation. ^