Arguments and Case: Explaining Burzio’s Generalization by Eric J. Reuland

By Eric J. Reuland

The tips awarded via the contributions during this quantity originated in a workshop on Burzio’s generalization. Burzio’s Generalization (BG) states verb which doesn't assign an exterior theta-role to its topic doesn't assign structural accusative Case to an item and conversely. It connects cross-linguistic similarities among e.g. passives, elevating verbs, and unaccusatives. besides the fact that, it does so by way of linking very various houses of a predicate. This increases primary questions about its theoretical prestige. The contributions during this quantity discover BG’s theoretical foundation. A consensus emerges that BG is, in reality, an epiphenomenon, because of the interplay of alternative rules of grammar. in addition, the contributions express a awesome convergence as to how BG is finally derived. the consequences acquired make an important contribution to the additional improvement of theories of Case and thematic family members.

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Chomsky, N. 1986. Barriers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Halle, M. 1989. “An approach to morphology”. NELS 20:150–184. Halle, M. 1991. “The Russian declension: An illustration of distributed morphology and a rebuttal of some criticisms levelled at the theory”. To appear in The Organization of Phonology: Features and domains. Stanford University: CSLI. Harris, A. 1981. Georgian Syntax: A study in relational grammar. Cambridge: CUP. Jaeggli, O. and Safir, K. (eds). 1989. The Null Subject Parameter. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Dependent case What now about  and  case, which I have called the “dependent” cases?  and  are assigned by V+I to one argument position in opposition to another argument position; hence  and  case on an NP is dependent on the properties not only of the NP itself but also of another NP position governed by V+I. We assume here that, when V moves and adjoins to I, the resulting V+I governs object positions that are governed by the trace of V either (i) directly (because the VP headed by the trace of V is no longer a barrier to such govern- CASE AND LICENSING 25 ment), or (ii) because the antecedent of the trace is part of the V+I unit, or (iii) through the trace of V; for present purposes, we do not need to decide which combination of these possibilities is correct.

Making the realization of morphological case and agreement explicitly depend on government relations at SS allowed for the complete elimination of Case theory as involved in the licensing of NP arguments or the spell-out of case or agreement. Licensing now generally follows from the semantics to syntax interface and the subject requirement of the EPP. The theory that results from abandoning Case theory and fleshing out the realization of morphological case has the added advantage of providing an CASE AND LICENSING 29 explanation for the Ergative generalization in (8) and the connection between the Ergative and Burzio’s generalizations.

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