Against deficiency-based typologies: Manner-alternation parameters in Italian and English

Raffaella Folli, Heidi Harley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Can the well-known verb-framed/satellite-framed variation observed by Talmy (1975 et seq.) be productively analyzed as a true parameter, or is it in fact something else, perhaps a morphological tendency of individual lexical items in a given language? Here we defend the view that it is indeed a parameter, of a well-understood type: a head-movement parameter. We claim that it results from the variety of uninterpretable feature that is bundled with the flavor of v which is used in change-of-state constructions. The technical apparatus employed is another instance of a typical head-movement parameter, of the kind that accounts for the familiar V-to-T or T-to-C parameters. In verb-framed languages, headmovement to change-of-state v0 is mandatory, just as head-movement to finite T0 is mandatory in V-to-T languages. The approach, in contrast to previous analyses, does not ascribe a deficiency to verb-framed languages, either in their semantic composition inventory, or their inventory of structural operations, both of which seem prima facie implausible from a biolinguistic/Minimalist perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRomance Languages and Linguistic Theory 10 Selected papers from �Going Romance� 28, Lisbon
EditorsErnestina Carrilho, Alexandra Fieis, Maria Lobo, Sandra Pereira
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027266415
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRomance Languages and Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)1574-552X


  • Flavors of v
  • Head-movement
  • Material/product alternation
  • Path
  • Prepositions
  • Resultatives
  • Talmy
  • Typology
  • Verb-particle constructions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics


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