The Syntactic Location of Events
Aspects of Verbal Complementation in Dutch
This dissertation investigates how the location of an event can be syntactically expressed (as opposed to lexically). This topic is considered in relation to the absentive construction in Dutch (Jan is vissen ‘John’s gone fishing’), a construction which has so far not been analysed in a generative syntactic framework. The specific semantic interpretation of the absentive, i.e. absence of its subject, is accounted for in terms of Binding Theory. This approach represents the first attempt to subsume the spatial dimension under the heading of binding.
A further aim of this dissertation is to examine where in the syntactic structure events are located. The discussion focuses primarily on the role of prepositions in relating verbal complements to event structure. Two constructions are considered in detail: (1) the absolute withinfinitive, which occurs in a number of Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium, and (2) the verbal collocation pattern, including the P+CP construction in Standard Dutch.
The dissertation’s combined theoretical and empirical orientation makes it of interest to a general syntactic readership.