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Title: Causatives and Universal Grammar: An Alternative Interpretation
Authors: Song, J.J. 
Issue Date: 1991
Citation: Song, J.J. (1991). Causatives and Universal Grammar: An Alternative Interpretation. Transactions of the Philological Society 89 (1) : 65-94. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The validity of the case hierarchy (CH), the paradigm case & the notion of demotion in Bernard Comrie's universal theory of causative constructions ("Causatives & Universal Grammar," Transactions of the Philological Society, 1974, 1-32) is questioned. It is argued that the CH theory precludes a more realistic understanding of the causative construction. Data from a variety of languages are examined & it is shown that few if any languages conform to Comrie's paradigm case. The alternative view is proposed that both causative & noncausative sentences are susceptible to the same NP density control - ie, a mechanism that keeps the number of core NPs or arguments in the causative sentence from exceeding the maximum number of core NPs/arguments permitted in a noncausative sentence. It is argued that the CH theory is not needed to account for causative constructions.
Source Title: Transactions of the Philological Society
ISSN: 00791636
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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