Causatives in English and Farsi
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Causative constructions have been studied taking syntactic or lexical approach within generative grammar. From the perspective of the linguists taking a lexical approach, lexical entery of a verb plays a key role in event as well as argument structure, and there are some operations which modify lexical entries; however, the event structure, argument structure, and thematic roles are believed to result from syntactic structure from a syntactic point of view (Schafer, 2009). While taking these two distinct approaches into account, this project provides an analysis of the causatives in English and Farsi with the main focus on Farsi. The first aim is to see whether Farsi LV/light verbs and affixal causatives should be analyzed as lexical or syntactic. To achieve this goal, some diagnostics discussed in the field such as adverbial scope, idiomatic reading, and productivity are applied to Farsi causatives. More importantly, the VP versus vP-VP structures is discussed to find out which one is supported by these causatives in Farsi as well as English. In addition, the behavior of the different Farsi causatives is analysed in light of the lexical analysis proposed by Rappaport & Levin (2000) and Levin & Rappaport (1995). Farsi allows its speakers to causativize three various predicates i.e. affixal, LV (light verb), and simple, and contrary to English lexical causatives, unergative and transitive predicates undergo causation in Farsi. With regard to the LV causative complex predicates, it is concluded that they consist of two independent elements i.e. the LV and the NV (nonverbal part). Taking Folli et al.’s (2005) approach, it is assumed that these two separate heads merge in the syntax. While the NV with its complements may form AP, NP, or PP projection, causative LV affects the appearance of the external argument. The adverbial scope diagnostic also shows two different events which can be modified independently. Productivity offers additional evidence in support of analyzing LV causatives as syntactic causatives. The affixal verbs with two different parts i.e. the cause-affix morpheme and the noncausative simple verb support split VP shell analysis, as well. However, diagnostics do not present extremely similar findings. While the adverbial scope allows the two causing and caused events to be modified independently, and idiomatic reading mainly gives evidence in favor of syntactic causatives, the productivity is not in favor of the syntactic analysis. An in-depth study of these causatives in Farsi in light of Rappaport & Levin (2000) and Levin & Rappaport’s (1995) lexical approach produces extra evidence in favor of the syntactic causatives.