The principal objective of this paper is to establish a direct relationship between the structural height of the base position of the applied argument and the case and promotion-to-subject patterns observed in applicative constructions, with particular reference to applicatives of unaccusatives. The paper achieves this through an approach exploiting dependent case, with the domains relevant for dependent case assignment being identified as phases, defined as (a) complete predicate–argument structures (PAS) and (b) propositions. By making argument structure a defining ingredient of the delineation of phases, the paper distils precise and accurate predictions about the interaction between the base-generation site of the applied object and the case patterns of unaccusative constructions featuring such an object, improving on the efficacy of previous accounts. In the process, the paper re-examines the syntactic status of constituents located on the edge of a phase.

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