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The Unaccusativity PuzzleExplorations of the Syntax-Lexicon Interface$
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Artemis Alexiadou, Elena Anagnostopoulou, and Martin Everaert

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199257652.001.0001

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Unaccusatives and Anticausatives in German

Unaccusatives and Anticausatives in German

(p.181) 7 Unaccusatives and Anticausatives in German
The Unaccusativity Puzzle

Markus Steinbach

Oxford University Press

In German, anticausatives are either unaccusative or transitive reflexive. This chapter focuses on the latter, which are discussed in the context of other interpretations of transitive reflexive sentences (TRSs). In addition to the anticausative interpretation, TRSs also yield a reflexive, a middle, and an inherent-reflexive interpretation. This semantic ambiguity of TRSs is systematic and can be found in many other Indo-European languages. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 7.2 provides a brief overview of the basic properties of anticausatives and embeds reflexive anticausatives in the wider context of other TRSs. Section 7.3 argues for a different and, until now, new way of deriving TRSs. Section 7.4 turns to unaccusatives again. The final section briefly summarizes the main findings.

Keywords:   German language, anticausatives, unaccusative, transitive reflexive sentences

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