Gabriel Aguila-Multner (LLF)
French causatives: complex predicates inside-out
Romance causative constructions have been argued to involve clause union, in which two independent predicates behave syntactically as one (Aissen & Perlmutter 1976, Alsina 1992, Abeillé & Godard 1996). In the case of French, the evidence comes first and foremost from clitic climbing, in which pronominal arguments of the embedded verb may be hosted by the head verb. Additionally, several valence-affecting operations using the form se can involve arguments of both verbs at the same time, which also shows the uniformity of the complex predicate's argument structure. In lexicalist frameworks such as Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG, Pollard & Sag 1994), clause union has naturally been effected at the lexical level, but always at the level of the embedding predicate (in our case causative faire), using mechanisms such as argument composition (Abeillé & Godard 2002, Miller & Sag 1997). In this talk I argue on empirical grounds for an approach that builds the complex predicate inside-out, i.e. from the embedded verb instead of from faire.