Noun Preverbs in Complex Predicates

  • Marina Pantcheva University of Tromsø
Keywords: complex predicate, noun preverb, light verb, direct object, argument, verbal phrase, decomposition, subevent


In this paper, I propose a syntax-based analysis of Persian complex predicates (a predicate consisting of a so called preverb and a light verb). I adopt the framework of the verbal First Phase Syntax developed by Ramchand (2008). I use complex predicates with the light verb zædæn `hit' to illustrate how this approach sheds light on some widely discussed issues in the literature. The problem I mainly focus on is the syntactic status of noun preverbs. In general, noun preverbs exhibit properties typically ascribed to direct objects (Samvelian 2001; 2004), while at the same time being distinct from real arguments of the verb (Megerdoomian 2006). I suggest that noun preverbs can occupy more than one position in the verbal phrase and show how this analysis captures their dual nature, as well as some other syntactic and semantic peculiarities.