A note on cognate objects: Cognation as doubling

Ángel Gallego


This note considers some of the problems raised by so-called “cognate objects” in the light of Hale & Keyser’s (1993, 1997, 1998) analysis of unergative verbs, which involves incorporation of a noun occupying the internal argument position. Unless we assume that the cognate object is post-syntactically inserted in the internal argument position (which already contains a trace/copy left by the element undergoing incorporation), this element should not be licensed. I propose that this tension can be solved if the incorporating noun (or root) and the cognate object start off as part of the same syntactic object: a big NP/DP. From such perspective, cognation can be seen as a subcase of a more general phenomenon: doubling.


cognate objects; doubling; incorporation; hyponymous objects; internal argument

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