Liisa Buelens (Ghent University)
Title: Flemish External Possession: affectedness and movement
Abstract: I discuss Flemish external possession structures in which a possessor (Jan) is external to the possessee DP it is interpreted with (zenen velo ‘his bike’) (1) (Haegeman, 2011, Haegeman and van Koppen, 2012, Haegeman and Danckaert, 2013). These patterns appear mostly within West Flemish dialects and tussentaal (‘in-between language’) but has also been found in Antwerp tussentaal (‘in-between language’).
‘It’s unfortunate that Jan’s bike was broken just then.’
In this talk I look at arguments for the syntactic dependency of the possessor on the possessee (semantic arguments, c-command data and locality restrictions). I will show that the external possessor is restricted in such a manner that it suggests a movement dependency between the possessor and its possessive DP. I will furthermore look at the observation of a requirement of the external possessor being interpreted as ‘affected’ by the event expressed in the clause. I will further discuss the place of the Flemish External Possession pattern in a typology of external possession proposed by Deal (2013), paying special attention to the observation that the external possession pattern in Flemish can appear with both subject and object possessees.
This discussion will further touch upon the structure of the possessive DP which must allow for movement of the possessor out of it. I will also briefly touch upon two further patterns of possessive structures in Flemish: possessor relativization (in which the possessive pronoun can act as a resumptive) and event possessives (in which a clausal possessive structure is mediated through dummy verbs zijn (‘be’) and hebben (‘have’) and which shows affectedness requirements similar to those on the Flemish external possessor).