S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 38 Number 1/4 (2002)
Genericity in Middle Constructions
- Yearn Jae-Il
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.38 No.4, pp. 1151-1184
- In middle constructions the external argument is syntactically inactive, but is understood to be people in general. But controversially it is optionally realized as a for-phrase which can denote a specific individual. I propose that a for-phrase is indirectly associated with the implied agent. However, this does not explain the observation that middle constructions tend to be generic. A middle verb itself is aspectually non-generic, but a middle construction is generic as a whole. This requires the presence of the generic operator. One thing missing is how a middle construction is guaranteed to be generic. I propose that the event argument is given the feature [ANY], which must be associated with the generic operator. My proposal could cause some problems in semantic interpretation, and I show that they can be avoided by existential disclosure.