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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2014, Vol. 45, No. 2, Pages 305-321
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00156)
@ 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Assessing Unaccusativity and Reflexivity: Using Focus Alternatives to Decide What Gets Which θ-Role
Article PDF (381.88 KB)
Abstract

In reflexive constructions, two arguments corefer. This makes it hard to decide which argument bears which θ-role, and consequently to assess whether unaccusativity is involved. A new test is proposed using focus alternatives, which overcomes this difficulty and can also be used to assess reflexivity strength.