University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


In this paper, we discuss the syntax of a causative construction in European Portuguese, which is similar to the ordinary causative (OC) but which also differs from it in important ways. We refer to this construction as the Locative Causative (LC) construction, which alternates between transitive (TLC) and intransitive (ILC) variants. We show that LCs entail a change of location of the theme and exhibit an existence presupposition on the theme. We suggest that this is because the entire VoiceP is embedded in a LocP structure, and that this structure also leads to the existence presupposition. We propose that both TLCs and ILCs may embed a passive VoiceP despite having infinitival morphology, and that the distinction between light verbs ‘go’ in ILCs and ‘put’ in TLCs stems from the presence or absence of an external-argument-introducing Voice head in the matrix clause.



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