Depictive Secondary Predicates in Typological Perspective

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Syntactic approaches that model the predicative relationship between a depictive secondary predicate (such as 'alive' in 'The cat ate the mouse alive') and one of the arguments of the main predicate as a syntactic relationship presuppose a straightforward distinction between secondary predicates and adverbials. This paper provides a cross-linguistic perspective on the range of expression types that can be considered depictive based on morphological, syntactic and semantic grounds and will therefore need to be considered in any proposal for a universally valid syntactic representation of secondary predication. From this perspective, the distinction between secondary predicates and adverbials is far from clear-cut. The paper also critically discusses, in the light of cross-linguistic variation, claims regarding syntactic and semantic constraints on the composition of depictive constructions, and extensions of the notion of secondary predication that have been proposed for so-called non-configurational languages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax
EditorsMartin Everaert, Henk C. van Riemsdijk
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781118358733
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017


  • secondary predication
  • adverbials
  • typology
  • agreement


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