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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2004, Vol. 35, No. 2, Pages 255-267
(doi: 10.1162/002438904323019066)
© 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wanting, Having, and Getting: A Note on Fodor and Lepore 1998
Article PDF (94.32 KB)

This article takes up Fodor and Lepore's (1998) account of the meaning of [want DP]structures, according to which the verb to have is introduced at interpretation. With certain DP complements a want to have DP paraphrase of want DP is ill formed; the correct paraphrase uses get or give. To allow for this, F&L would have to vary the introduced verb depending on the meaning of the DP, but this would make their proposal “co-compositional,” defeating its original purpose. If have, get, and give all contain the abstract preposition PHAVE (Harley 1995, Richards 2001), however, F&L's treatment may be appropriately revised: the element introduced by want is not have but PHAVE. F&L can avoid co-compositionality at the price of allowing lexical decomposition.