Languages with applicative morphology vary in whether their applied arguments can stack, or “recurse.” Focusing primarily on Bantu languages, I argue that the availability of applicative recursion in a given language depends on abstract nominal licensing—in particular, on whether the applicative heads responsible for introducing applied arguments are nominal licensers. Applicative recursion therefore provides a novel diagnostic for the presence of abstract nominal licensing, which is argued to be driven not by Case but by ϕ-feature checking. The proposed approach to applicative recursion provides evidence for the role of abstract licensing in Bantu languages and has implications for approaches to double object symmetry as well as for recursion in causatives.
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November 15 2023
Applicative Recursion and Nominal Licensing
In Special Collection: CogNet
Online ISSN: 1530-9150
Print ISSN: 0024-3892
© 2023 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistic Inquiry 1–44.
Yining Nie; Applicative Recursion and Nominal Licensing. Linguistic Inquiry 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/ling_a_00513
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