The Landscape of Applicatives

Youngmi Jeong

The present thesis is concerned with the syntax of constructions variously referred to as 'applicative', 'ditransitive', or 'multiple object' constructions: constructions that contain arguments that transcend the traditional subject-object characterization. The present thesis is also concerned with how the syntax of such constructions yields the interpretive effects that previous research has identified. In this thesis I try to remedy the inadequacies and limitations of previous accounts. As far as the syntax of applicatives is concerned, my analysis necessitates the rejection of phase-based derivation, and requires an emphasis on anti-locality, a rethinking of the phenomenon of successive cyclicity, and a renewed appreciation for the relevance of case and category in the context of multiple object constructions. The system I end up with is more relativized than previous accounts, as it makes use of more factors to capture the syntax of applicatives. In addition to providing a more adequate chracterization of the syntax of applicative constructions, I develop a semantic analysis of double-object/low applicative constructions. Specifically, I argue that such constructions involve object-sharing, captured via theta-driven movement, a derivational process that they share with serial verbs and resultative constructions. If correct, the present thesis offers empirical arguments for various theoretical options currently entertained in the minimalist program, among which movement into theta-position, multiple agree, anti-locality, and early successive cyclic movement (i.e., movement taking place before the final landing site is introduced into the structure).