Lowest theme vowels or highest roots? : an ‘unaccusative’ theme-vowel class in SlovenianMarko Simonović
, Petra Mišmaš
, 2022, original scientific article
Abstract: This paper focuses on the e/i theme vowel class of verbs in Slovenian to bring together two seemingly unrelated debates: (i) the debate on the correlation between theme-vowel classes and certain argument structures and (ii) the debate on the status of derivational affixes within the framework of Distributed Morphology. Our core data come from a list of 108 unaccusative verbs obtained using adjectival active l-participles as an unaccusativity diagnostic. We show that (i) no unaccusative verbs belong to the two largest theme-vowel classes in Slovenian (a/a and i/i), whereas (ii) the two big theme vowel classes tend to get accusative arguments quite frequently. Most importantly, (iii) the e/i class stands out since more than one half of the unaccusative sample falls into it. The e/i class is furthermore exceptional in that its theme vowel surfaces in adjectival l-participles, it is the theme-vowel class to which inchoatives in inchoative-causative pairs belong and it behaves uniformly with respect to stress. Based on this behavior, which sets the e/i-class apart from other theme-vowel classes, we argue that the morpheme e/i is better analyzed as a derivational affix. We further argue, following Lowenstamm (2014), that derivational affixes are transitive roots rather than categorizers and propose detailed PF and LF instructions for the root under consideration.
Keywords: theme vowels, derivational roots, unaccusatives, l-participles, Slovenian
Published in RUNG: 18.02.2022; Views: 1178; Downloads: 49
Link to full text
This document has many files! More...