Voice Only: No Passive, Causative and Applicative Heads
Chigchi Bai
March 2024
 

The core proposal to drill in this paper is that there is only one type of syntactic head endowed with the ability to introduce arguments in the inventory of functional heads in UG, that is, Voice. In justifying this proposal, I pursue a Split VoiceP approach to articulating Voice and the voice domain, thereby syntactically deriving voice alternations through the single engine, Voice. Based on Legate’s (2003) observation of reconstruction effects in English passives and accusative-to-dative raising in Japanese causative-of-passive sentences, it is argued that subjects of sentences including both passives and actives/causatives are introduced beforehand by a voice head to be assigned subjecthood. The proposed analysis not only accounts for relevant facts and properties that previous approaches fail to capture but also unifies and simplifies syntactic operations deriving voice constructions. The previously postulated passive (agent-less Voice), causative and applicative heads are therefore subsumed under Voice. As such, introduction of arguments (external, internal or applied), being unconstrained, comes down to Free Merge (Chomsky 2013, 2015).
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Reference: lingbuzz/007947
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keywords: voice, passive, causative, applicative, argument, merge, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v2 [March 2024]
v1 [March 2024]
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