The Involuntary State/feel-like Construction: What Aspect Cannot Do
The hyperintensional South Slavic involuntary state/feel-like construction is interesting in that it is restricted to a peculiar syntactic frame (dative subject and reflexive-impersonal or reflexive-passive verb) but has no overt element encoding its desiderative meaning and its intensionality. Recently it received two very different analyses. For Marušič and Žaucer (2006a), the construction is biclausal, with its desiderative meaning coming from a phonologically null verb. For Rivero (2009), its “modal” meaning arises from a viewpoint-aspect imperfective operator in a monoclausal structure. The aspect-based account poses a challenge for the theory of null verbs, since it cancels what had been considered a rare attestation of the theory’s logical possibility of having a null matrix verb. It also poses a challenge for the sententionalist view of hyperintensionality, since it posits that the latter can arise outside a clausal complement. This paper demonstrates that the aspect-based account is problematic in several respects and reinstates the null-verb analysis.
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