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Expressing possession with HAVE and BE: affected possession structures in Flemish

Liisa Buelens (UGent)
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  • BOF-01J13911
Abstract
This paper concerns a cartographic account of Flemish Event Possessives (FEVPs) which alternate between a variety with HAVE and one with BE. The FEVP matrix subjects have the interpretation of both being the Possessor (in its broadest meaning) of the event expressed in the embedded clause and being affected by it, the latter shown by among others the ‘ban on dead arguments’ diagnostic (Hole 2006, 387-388). Cross-linguistically the alternation between possessive HAVE and BE appears with a nominative subject in the HAVE-variety, but a dative subject in the BE-variety. In line with the analysis of HAVE as the spell-out of BE with a preposition or a case (cf. Benveniste 1966; Freeze 1992; Kayne 1993; Hoekstra 1994, 1995; Belvin and den Dikken 1997; den Dikken 1997), Broekhuis and Cornips (1994) argue that HAVE and BE respectively assign accusative and dative case to their complements in Heerlen Dutch possessives. As expected, the matrix subject in the Flemish HAVE-FEVP is nominative. The availability of a pronominal direct object het (‘it’) in HAVE-FEVPs, but not in BE-FEVPs, follows from the above mentioned traditional analyses of possessive HAVE and BE as well. What is unexpected, however, is that the matrix subject of the Flemish BE-FEVP does not surface with dative case but instead with nominative. I argue that the nominative matrix subject of the FEVP in both its varieties occupies a similar (applicative) relation to the clausal domain as that observed for the Possessor of the subject-related Flemish External Possessor pattern (FEP) (Haegeman 2011; Haegeman and van Koppen 2012; Haegeman and Danckaert 2013; Buelens and D’Hulster 2014). For the subject-related FEP-pattern, Haegeman and Danckaert (2013) argue that the Possessor occupies a position higher in the clause than its unmarked DP-internal position (cf. Landau 1999; Payne and Barshi 1999; Hole 2004, 2006; Lee-Schoenfeld 2006; Deal 2010, 2013, forthc.). Along those lines, I argue that in the FEVP an Affectee feature [+AFF] on an applicative light verb attracts the Possessor subject to its specifier (for Affectee and applicative structures cf. Marantz 1993; Pylkkänen 2000, 2002, 2008; McFadden 2004; Hole 2004, 2006; Rivero 2009; Kim 2011, 2012; Rivero and Arregui 2010, 2012). It is in this high applicative position that it receives the (default) nominative case. Specifically, the FEVP is analyzed, following Belvin and den Dikken’s (1997) analysis of possessive HAVE and BE in Dutch, as a small clause headed by Agr. I take the event being encoded by the full clause CP to be in the specifier of Agr and the Possessor as the complement of Agr: (a) BE-FEVP: [vP wej [v' v [IP tj [I' I+Agri] [AgrP [CP dat...] [Agr' ti tj]]]] (b) HAVE-FEVP: [vP wej [v' v [IP tj [I' I+Agri+Pe [hetk]] [AgrP [CP dat...k] [Agr' ti tj]]]]] The verb BE, then, in Flemish alternates freely with HAVE in the FEVP and can be said to be a dummy verb used not only to encode possessive structures, but also affected possessive structures.
Keywords
Flemish External Possession, Flemish Event Possessives, nominative-dative alternation, affected possession, Flemish cartographic syntax

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MLA
Buelens, Liisa. “Expressing Possession with HAVE and BE: Affected Possession Structures in Flemish.” To Be or Not to Be? The Verbum Substantivum and Its Functions from Synchronic, Diachronic, and Typological Perspective. Ed. Michail Kotin. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing House, 2015. 278–313. Print.
APA
Buelens, Liisa. (2015). Expressing possession with HAVE and BE: affected possession structures in Flemish. In M. Kotin (Ed.), To be or not to be? The verbum substantivum and its functions from synchronic, diachronic, and typological perspective (pp. 278–313). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing House.
Chicago author-date
Buelens, Liisa. 2015. “Expressing Possession with HAVE and BE: Affected Possession Structures in Flemish.” In To Be or Not to Be? The Verbum Substantivum and Its Functions from Synchronic, Diachronic, and Typological Perspective, ed. Michail Kotin, 278–313. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing House.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Buelens, Liisa. 2015. “Expressing Possession with HAVE and BE: Affected Possession Structures in Flemish.” In To Be or Not to Be? The Verbum Substantivum and Its Functions from Synchronic, Diachronic, and Typological Perspective, ed. Michail Kotin, 278–313. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing House.
Vancouver
1.
Buelens L. Expressing possession with HAVE and BE: affected possession structures in Flemish. In: Kotin M, editor. To be or not to be? The verbum substantivum and its functions from synchronic, diachronic, and typological perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing House; 2015. p. 278–313.
IEEE
[1]
L. Buelens, “Expressing possession with HAVE and BE: affected possession structures in Flemish,” in To be or not to be? The verbum substantivum and its functions from synchronic, diachronic, and typological perspective, M. Kotin, Ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing House, 2015, pp. 278–313.
@incollection{6884189,
  abstract     = {This paper concerns a cartographic account of Flemish Event Possessives (FEVPs) which alternate between a variety with HAVE and one with BE. The FEVP matrix subjects have the interpretation of both being the Possessor (in its broadest meaning) of the event expressed in the embedded clause and being affected by it, the latter shown by among others the ‘ban on dead arguments’ diagnostic (Hole 2006, 387-388).
Cross-linguistically the alternation between possessive HAVE and BE appears with a nominative subject in the HAVE-variety, but a dative subject in the BE-variety. In line with the analysis of HAVE as the spell-out of BE with a preposition or a case (cf. Benveniste 1966; Freeze 1992; Kayne 1993; Hoekstra 1994, 1995; Belvin and den Dikken 1997; den Dikken 1997), Broekhuis and Cornips (1994) argue that HAVE and BE respectively assign accusative and dative case to their complements in Heerlen Dutch possessives.
As expected, the matrix subject in the Flemish HAVE-FEVP is nominative. The availability of a pronominal direct object het (‘it’) in HAVE-FEVPs, but not in BE-FEVPs, follows from the above mentioned traditional analyses of possessive HAVE and BE as well. What is unexpected, however, is that the matrix subject of the Flemish BE-FEVP does not surface with dative case but instead with nominative.
I argue that the nominative matrix subject of the FEVP in both its varieties occupies a similar (applicative) relation to the clausal domain as that observed for the Possessor of the subject-related Flemish External Possessor pattern (FEP) (Haegeman 2011; Haegeman and van Koppen 2012; Haegeman and Danckaert 2013; Buelens and D’Hulster 2014). For the subject-related FEP-pattern, Haegeman and Danckaert (2013) argue that the Possessor occupies a position higher in the clause than its unmarked DP-internal position (cf. Landau 1999; Payne and Barshi 1999; Hole 2004, 2006; Lee-Schoenfeld 2006; Deal 2010, 2013, forthc.).
Along those lines, I argue that in the FEVP an Affectee feature [+AFF] on an applicative light verb attracts the Possessor subject to its specifier (for Affectee and applicative structures cf. Marantz 1993; Pylkkänen 2000, 2002, 2008; McFadden 2004; Hole 2004, 2006; Rivero 2009; Kim 2011, 2012; Rivero and Arregui 2010, 2012). It is in this high applicative position that it receives the (default) nominative case.
Specifically, the FEVP is analyzed, following Belvin and den Dikken’s (1997) analysis of possessive HAVE and BE in Dutch, as a small clause headed by Agr. I take the event being encoded by the full clause CP to be in the specifier of Agr and the Possessor as the complement of Agr:
(a) BE-FEVP:
[vP wej [v' v [IP tj [I' I+Agri] [AgrP [CP dat...] [Agr' ti tj]]]]
(b) HAVE-FEVP:
[vP wej [v' v [IP tj [I' I+Agri+Pe [hetk]] [AgrP [CP dat...k] [Agr' ti tj]]]]]
The verb BE, then, in Flemish alternates freely with HAVE in the FEVP and can be said to be a dummy verb used not only to encode possessive structures, but also affected possessive structures.},
  author       = {Buelens, Liisa},
  booktitle    = {To be or not to be? The verbum substantivum and its functions from synchronic, diachronic, and typological perspective},
  editor       = {Kotin, Michail},
  isbn         = {978-1-4438-8070-1},
  keywords     = {Flemish External Possession,Flemish Event Possessives,nominative-dative alternation,affected possession,Flemish cartographic syntax},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {278--313},
  publisher    = {Cambridge Scholar Publishing House},
  title        = {Expressing possession with HAVE and BE: affected possession structures in Flemish},
  year         = {2015},
}