Wanting, having, and getting: A note on Fodor and Lepore 1998

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32 Scopus citations


This article takes up Fodor and Lepore's (1998) account of the meaning of [want DP] structures, according to which the verb to have is introduced at interpretation. With certain DP complements a want to have DP paraphrase of want DP is ill formed; the correct paraphrase uses get or give. To allow for this, F&L would have to vary the introduced verb depending on the meaning of the DP, but this would make their proposal "co-compositional," defeating its original purpose. If have, get, and give all contain the abstract preposition P HAVE (Harley 1995, Richards 2001), however, F&L's treatment may be appropriately revised: the element introduced by want is not have but P HAVE. F&L can avoid co-compositionality at the price of allowing lexical decomposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalLinguistic Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Atomism
  • Compositionality
  • Have
  • Idiom
  • Lexical decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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