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L830 Genitives/Possessives

W, Nov. 22, 2000 Ji-yung Kim

Adjectives in Construct*

1. Introduction This paper proposes an analysis of construct-state adjectives in Hebrew. I claim that the construct-state adjective combines with its complementthe genitive noun following itto form a complex predicate, which behaves similarly to normal adjectives. I show that the proposal captures the parallel between construct-state nouns and construct-state adjectives as well as the adjectival properties of these adjectives. 2. The Construct State of Adjectives The following examples illustrate what Hazout (2000) calls adjectival genitives, delimited by brackets below: (1) a. ha- naara [yefat ha- eynayim] the girl pretty the eyes The girl who is pretty of eyes b. naar [yefe eynayim] boy pretty eyes A boy pretty of eyes

[Adapted from Hazout 2000:29]

[Hazout 2000:29]

The adjectives in these constructions take a form which is unique to adjectives appearing in these constructions: (2) a. yafa yefat pretty (f.sg.; independent form) pretty (f.sg.; construct form)

b. *ha- naara [yafa ha- eynayim] the girl pretty the eyes Adjectives in construct state are thus like nominals in this respect: a similar alternation appears in the nominal class, between nouns in their independent form and nouns in construct state: (3) a. naara girl (independent form) naarat girl (construct form) b. *naara Dina girl Dina Dinas daughter; the girl Dina

The parallel to the construct state of nominals is not merely a matter of morphology. Adjectives in construct obey the same restrictions as those attested with nouns in construct. First, construct-state adjectives cannot be separated from their complement by a modifier: (4) a. naara [yefat eynayim meod ] girl pretty eyes very A girl whose eyes are very pretty

Most examples in this paper are adaptations of Hazouts (2000) by the author. Many thanks to Ben Gelbart and Uri Strauss for their help in the adaptation process, as well as for their judgments on the adapted data.

b. *naara [yefat meod eynayim] girl pretty very eyes This is parallel to the facts regarding nouns in construct: (5) a. mexonit ha- naara ha- yafa car the girl the pretty The pretty car of the girl b. *mexonit car yafa ha- naara pretty the girl

[Adapted from Hazout 2000: 31]

[Adapted from Hazout 2000: 31]

The definiteness of the entire construct phrase is determined by that of the complement to the element in construct: (6) a. [delet [beyt [morat [kita]]]] door house teacher class A door of a house of a teacher of a class b. [delet [beyt [morat [ha- kita]]]] door house teacher the class The door of the house of the teacher of the class c. *ha- delet the door d. *delet door e. *delet door f. * hathe beyt morat kita house teacher class

[Hazout 1991]

ha- beyt morat kita the house teacher class beyt ha- morat kita house the teacher class delet door hathe beyt ha- morat hahouse the teacher the kita class

Each example in (6) consist of three constructs embedded one inside another. As shown in (6b), the presence of the definite article in the innermost DP ha-kita the class determines the definiteness of each larger DP morat ha-kita the teacher of the class, beyt morat ha-kita the house of the teacher of the class, and delet beyt morat ha-kita the door of the house of the teacher of the class. (6c-e) shows that the article may not appear on any of the nouns in construct. Similarly, the definiteness of the adjective-construct-phrase is determined by the presence of the article on the term following the construct-adjective, and may not appear on the adjective itself: (7) a. ha- naara [yefat ha- eynayim] the girl pretty the eyes The girl pretty of eyes b. *ha- naara [hathe girl the yefat eynayim] pretty eyes [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 32]

3. Construct State Adjectives are Still Adjectives Adjectives in construct state nevertheless distinguish themselves from nouns in construct

state. First of all, only inalienable possessa can act as complements to an adjective in construct: (8) a. ha- naara [yefat ha- eynayim] the girl pretty the eyes The girl who is pretty of eyes b. *ha- naara [yefat ha- mexonit] the girl pretty the car

[Adapted from Hazout 2000:29] [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 33]

No such restriction is attested with terms following nouns in construct: (9) a. ceva color b. ceva color ha- eynayim the eyes ha- mexonit the car The color of the eyes The color of the car

Nor is it attested in relative clauses: (10) ha- naara [Se ha- mexonit the girl thatthe car The girl whose car is pretty Sel-a yefa] Sel-her pretty [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 33]

Also, while construct-state nouns can be embedded one inside the other (as seen in (6)), the term following the adjective in construct can neither be in construct state (11a) nor be in a free genitive construction ( 11b), another option for embedding nominal phrases within larger nominal phrases: (11) a. *ha- naara [yefat eyne the girl pretty eyes Dina] Dina Sel ha- more] Sel the teacher [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 35]

b. *ha- naara [yefat eynayim the girl pretty eyes

Finally, just like non-construct-state adjectives ( 12a-d), construct-state adjectives ( 12a-d) show full agreement with the noun they modify. (12) a. naara yafa girl pretty.FM.SG. A pretty girl

a. naara [yefat eynayim] girl pretty.FM.SG. eyes A girl pretty of eyes b. naar yafe boy pretty.MS.SG. A pretty boy b. naar [yefe eynayim] boy pretty.MS.SG. eyes A boy pretty of eyes c. nearot yefot girls pretty.FM.PL. The pretty girls

[Adapted from Hazout 2000:29]

[Hazout 2000:29]

c. nearot yefot girls pretty.FM.PL.

eynayim eyes

d. ha- naara ha- yafa the girl the pretty The pretty girl d. ha- naara [yefat ha- eynayim] the girl pretty the eyes The girl pretty of eyes d. *ha- naara [yefat eynayim] the girl pretty eyes d.*naara[yefat ha- eynayim] girl pretty the eyes They agree in gender, as shown by the contrast between (12a/a and 12b/b), as well as in number (compare (12a/a) with (12c/c)) and definiteness (compare (12a/a) and (12d/d) with (12d/d)). Thus construct-state adjectives pose an interesting puzzle in that they show both the noun-like properties observed in 2 and the adjective-like properties described in this section. A complete analysis of adjectives in construct must account for these two aspects. I propose such an analysis below. 4. Proposal The agreement facts described in the previous section suggest that the adjective in construct (13a) combines with the term following it to form a complex predicate (13b), which can be paraphrased as pretty of eyes or eye-pretty. The meaning of the genitival complement to the construct-adjective is then as shown in (13c): (13) a. TR(pretty) = x[pretty(x)] b. TR(pretty eyesGEN ) = x[pretty(y[eyes(x)(y)])] c. TR(eyesGEN ) = Rx[R(y[eyes(x)(y)])]

As shown in (14a), eyes, as an inalienable possession, is a transitive noun with a referent/internal argument and a possessor/external argument. Given (14a), and abstracting on (13c), the contribution of the genitive on the complement to the adjective in construct is then: (14) a. TR(eyes) = uv[eyes(u)(v)] b. TR(GEN ) = RPx[P(y[R(x)(y)])]

The restriction to inalienable possessa to participate in this construction is then attributed to the fact that these are the only nouns introducing a possessor argument lexically. Intransitive nouns such as car incur a type-mismatch when we try to apply GEN to it: (15) a. TR(car) = z[car(z)] b. TR(carGEN ) = RPx[P(y[R(x)(y)])](z[car(z)])

Somehow, it seems that no type-shifting introducing a possessor argument for car is possible. The restriction on embedding illustrated in (11) (repeated below) is also explained: introducing a possessor early on saturates the external argument of the complement noun, thereby rendering it a one-place noun like car:

(11)

a. *ha- naara [yefat eyne the girl pretty eyes

Dina] Dina Sel ha- more] Sel the teacher [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 35]

b. *ha- naara [yefat eynayim the girl pretty eyes

The account for the examples in (11) applies equally to the ungrammatical examples in (16), where resumptive pronouns appear in construct phrases: (16) a. *ha- naara [yefat ene -ha] the girl pretty eyes-her b. *ha- naara [yefat eynayim the girl pretty eyes Sel-ha] Sel-her [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 35]

In this respect, construct phrases contrast with relative clauses, where resumptive pronouns are required: (17) a. ha- naara [Se ha- eynayim *(Sel-a) the girl thatthe eyes Sel-her The girl whose eyes are pretty b. ha- naara [Se eyne-ha yafot] the girl thateyes-her pretty The girl whose eyes are pretty yafot] pretty [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 33]

[Adapted from Hazout 2000:42]

The resumptive pronoun is required in this case, since the external argument of eynayim/eyne eyes has to be saturated for it to combine with yafot pretty and form a clause of type <t>. The proposed analysis also predicts, correctly, that any modification to the construct phrase that does not affect the argument structure of the complement noun (such as conjunction) is grammatical: (18) ha- naara [Sxorat ha- sear the girl black the hair ve ha- eynayim] and the eyes [Hazout 2000: 40]

The restriction on modifiers of the construct-adjective phrase (illustrated in (4) and repeated below), on the other hand, may be due to a true syntactic restriction on the position of adverbs modifying adjective phrases in general: (4) a. naara [yefat eynayim meod ] girl pretty eyes very A girl whose eyes are very pretty b. *naara [yefat meod eynayim] girl pretty very eyes [Adapted from Hazout 2000: 31]

The agreement facts from (12) also suggest that the construct adjective is the head of the construct phrase, despite the slight quirk of the definiteness restriction on heads of constructs in general (i.e. definiteness of the head being expressed on its complement is an essential property of the construct): (12) d. ha- naara [yefat ha- eynayim] the girl pretty the eyes The girl pretty of eyes

d. *ha- naara [yefat eynayim] the girl pretty eyes d.*naara[yefat ha- eynayim] girl pretty the eyes As shown by (12d/d/d), the occurrence of ha- on eynayim eyes is entirely dependent on its presence on naara girl, the noun which yefat pretty modifies and agrees with. 5. Concluding Remarks Some lingering issues: The noun constructs, where no restriction on the complement is attested: This suggests that the genitive introduced by the construct cannot be entirely responsible for the restriction on the complement to construct-adjectives. (Maybe type-shifting is somehow possible in this case; or do we have a different genitive?) The Hebrew construct is distinct from the English compound pretty-eyed, in that in the former, the adjective is the head, and in the latter, the noun is. (Does syntactic ed headedness really matter when it comes to semantics?) The free genitive (with Sel) is quite distinct from the construct genitive: an adjective in construct takes a complement noun, but an adjective not in construct cannot take a free genitive complement. So it seems that there are crucial differences between the Sel genitive versus the genitive introduced in construct states. What would those be? Does the construct state element itself have a different meaning? References Hazout, Ilan. 1991. Verbal Nouns: Theta Theoretic Studies in Hebrew and Arabic . Ph.D. thesis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Hazout, Ilan. 2000. Adjectival genitive construcctions in Modern Hebrew: A case study in coanalysis. The Linguistic Review 17: 29-52.

The restriction to inalienable possessa to participate in this construction may then come from the fact that these are the only nouns introducing a possessor argument lexically, which does not get in the way of incorporation. Potentially problematic (not really, since conjunction does not affect argument structure of noun): (19) a. ha- naara [Sxorat ha- sear ve ha- eynayim] the girl black the hair and the eyes [Hazout 2000: 40] If N were the head, we predict that the following is possible: (20) a. *naarat[yefat eynayim] girl pretty eyes (give parallel example of stacked construct) Its not quite like pretty-eyed girl, where eyed is the head; in this case, pretty is still the headits more like eye-pretty girl. The incorporation story, with hair acting like a predicate-modifier to black , which in turn modifies girl is very attractive The restriction to inalienable possessa to participate in this construction may then come from the fact that these are the only nouns introducing a possessor argument lexically, which does not get in the way of incorporation. Also, the compositionality of these constructions (as opposed to other constructs, which exhibit some idiosyncrasies) appears as an accident under this view (cf. incorporation is generally attested to show non-compositional traits cross-linguistically.) a. naara yafa meod girl pretty very a. *naara meod yafa girl very pretty b. naara [yafa Sel eynayim meod ] girl pretty Sel eyes very A girl whose eyes are very pretty b.*naara [yafa meod Sel eynayim] girl pretty very Sel eyes

(21)

A very pretty girl