AuthorTubino Blanco, Mercedes
Committee ChairHarley, Heidi
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the mechanisms behind the linguistic expression of causation in English, Hiaki (Uto-Aztecan) and Spanish. Pylkkänen's (2002, 2008) analysis of causatives as dependent on the parameterization of the functional head v(CAUSE) is chosen as a point of departure. The studies conducted in this dissertation confirm Pylkkänen's claim that all causatives involve the presence of vCAUSE. They further confirm that variation is conditioned by both the selectional and 'Voice-bundling' properties of the causative head. I show that this pattern triggers differences across languages, although other factors are also responsible for the existence of multiple causative configurations within languages. In some languages (e.g. English), causatives require the obligatory presence of an external argument (i.e., Causer). I provide additional data supporting Pylkkänen's proposal that causation (in certain languages) may also exist in the absence of a syntactic Causer. In particular, I offer data from Hiaki indirect causatives and Spanish desiderative causatives (e.g., .Te hace salir? '2sg.dat (expl)makes go.out, Do you feel like going out?’), and weather/temporal constructions (e.g., Hace mucho calor '(expl) makes much heat, It’s very hot') in support of this hypothesis. The results of this research, however, question Pylkkänen's claim that certain languages may allow the Root-causativization of transitives and unergatives. I show that this is not possible even in languages that exhibit Causer-less causatives (e.g., Hiaki). Moreover, certain unaccusatives (e.g., arrive) also resist (Root) causativization crosslinguistically, regardless of the 'Voice-bundling' properties inherent to the causativizing head. I claim that this happens in contexts in which unaccusative verbs exhibit 'unergative' behavior (i.e., whenever they involve syntactic elements that are base-generated in positions higher than the root). Cross-linguistic variation in the expression of causation is not always a direct consequence of the internal properties of the causative predicate. Because of language-internal requirements, different languages impose specific limitations on the syntactic realization of causative structures. For instance, English and Spanish heavily rely on Agreement relations among their constituents. The consequence of this is that it is difficult in these languages to discern what elements really are part of causation and what elements are not, as well as the nature of the elements involved in causatives (e.g., whether the dative in Spanish productive causatives is an external argument or an applicative). This dissertation addresses all these questions.