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University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Abstract

This paper presents a complex-predicate analysis of depictive secondary predicates (DSPs) in English that accounts for the restricted combinations of primary- and secondary-predicates for object-oriented depictives (OODs). I argue that these restrictions are the result of a presupposition introduced by the functional head, Dep, which introduces the depictive secondary predicate. This presupposition places a restriction on the main predicate, requiring that there be a subpart of the object in the primary predicate relation for every subsituation/subevent of the situation/event denoted by the primary predicate. I further argue that there is independent evidence for the use of the subpart relation in Dep’s presupposition, since it explains a previously unnoted connection between the partitive construction and OODs: the partitive constraint on NP complements of partitive of parallels the constraint on objects that can form OODs.

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