Irudiak eta emaileak



Argitaratua api 2, 2001
Xabier Artiagoitia


This article analyzes Basque irudi (= 'seem') verbs within a generative framework and proposes that the ergative pattern displayed by this class of verbs arises because of the inherent lexical feature [-absolutive}. Irudi verbs also confirm Chomsky's (1995) contention that interpretable features (Ø- and EPP-features) can be checked more than once but non-interpretable features like Case just once. The proposal accounts for the otherwise surprising properties of irudi verbs. First, their subjects bear ergative case when they have a predicate complement yet they resist a transitive analysis: the predicate cannot display object agreement with the verb, cannot be switched to genitive in derived nominals, cannot take part in TO-GEN constructions, and cannot be affected by derivational affixes possible with transitive verbs; all these are expected if the deep complement of irudi verbs is simply a small clause. The subject's ergative case is a result of the feature [-absolutive], which overrides the value that Basque generally sets for the Obligatory Case Parameter when there is a single argument, and activates the case feature of Tense; hence, we find ergative in the absence of absolutive. The feature [-absolutive] correctly predicts that irudi verbs cannot tolerate impersonal constructions with the verb izan. Second, when they select a finite complement clause, irudi verbs alternate between an impersonal reading and an ergative subject that is disputably raised from the complement clause. I defend that irudi verbs remain monoargumental when selecting a finite clause; the subject position is filled by either an expletive ergative, or by an argument raised from the embedded subject position. The raising option is analyzed as an instance of Ura's (1996) copy-raising. Basque has both the expletive, non-raising, option and the raising, more costly, derivation; the latter is less economical and hence preferred by a smaller number of speakers.

How to Cite

Artiagoitia, Xabier. 2001. «Irudiak Eta Emaileak». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 35 (1):29-64.
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