On plurality in verbs prefixed by com-

María Mare (Universidad Nacional del Comahue/IPEHCS-CONICET)

Abstract

There are some verbs in Latin prefixed by com- which bear a symmetric interpretation (iff R(x, y) → R(y, x)), and consequently, need to satisfy a non-singular reference requirement. These can be classified according to the kind of argument affected by this requirement, the Agent or the Figure; or according to the interpretation of the event, which can be either directional (confluo “to converge”) or non-directional (colloquor to talk to”). In this paper I show that these two classifications are related to each other and that the non-singular reference requirement can be satisfied in different ways, the comitative phrase being one of them. The alternation between plural DPs and a singular DP plus a comitative phrase (A cum B) turns out to be problematic for the Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis (UTAH) (Baker 1988). The goal of this paper is to solve this problem within a neo-constructionist framework, in which the properties of Roots are contingent on syntactic positions. I propose that COM in the scope of p, i.e. [p COM], would be interpreted as an argument introducer that cannot assign a thematic role.

DOI: 10.4424/lam92020-7

Keywords

Prefixes; Verbal morphology; Word formation; Argument structure; Latin.

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