Proceedings of IATL 24

We present an account of PPs with spatial meanings which take complements in accusative case when specifying a goal and in some oblique case when introducing a location. Our account treats accusative case as the marking of the subject-predicate relation at the VP level. The subject of the VP domain is the argument with the role of the theme, and its predicate is the resultative predicate of the event denoted by the VP. The subject-predicate agreement is visible only when the case-bearing nominal complement of the preposition is in a local relation with the subject of the VP domain. This locality obtains only with structurally impoverished prepositions, i.e. those that lack a path or a degree component, and specify only a static spatial relation. In the simplest case, the subject of the VP differs from that of the IP, and they, as well as their predicates, surface with different cases: accusative for the former and nominative for the latter. Special cases we discussed involve a shared subject for the two domains, the lack of overt realization of the resultative predicate, or examples in which the case of the subject of VP is overridden, for example by the genitive case marking domain-broadening effects or by instrumental case for a structurally higher role of the same participant. We argue that the Ps under discussion are locative only (hence with a simpler structural representation) and that they get a derived goal reading only when they are embedded within the VP as secondary resultatives, predicated over the internal argument DP (the undergoer). This allows us to maintain just one lexical entry for the Ps under question.

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