The syntax and semantics of past participle agreement in Alemannic

Abstract : This paper investigates agreement on past participles in Highest Alemannic dialects of German. We will first show that participle agreement only occurs in contexts where the participle is adjectival, viz., in stative passives and in resultative perfects, but not in eventive perfects. The participles thus pattern with predicative adjectives, which also display agreement in these varieties. In the main part of the paper, we address double compound perfects and eventive passives, which also display agreement on the lexical participle. Even though it is initially not obvious that the participle is adjectival in these cases, we will provide syntactic evidence for their adjectival status. Furthermore, we will pursue the hypothesis that the adjectival head of all agreeing participles is a stativizer, even in the double compound perfect and the eventive passive. At the same time, both the double compound perfect and the eventive passive also clearly have an eventive component. We will model their behavior by treating the participles as mixed categories, viz., as adjectival heads that take a large amount of verbal structure as their complement (VoiceP/AspP). While recent work on German stative passives has argued that even those should be analyzed as containing a substantial amount of verbal structure, the behavior of participles in the double perfect and the eventive passive in the varieties under consideration is clearly different. They thus contribute to the typology of adjectival passives in German and beyond and show that the familiar distinction between 'adjectival' and 'verbal' participles needs to be further refined.
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Martin Salzmann, Gerhard Schaden. The syntax and semantics of past participle agreement in Alemannic. Glossa (Online), Ubiquity Press, 2019, 4 (1), ⟨10.5334/gjgl.756⟩. ⟨hal-02281441⟩

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