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Looking Possessor Raising in the Mouth: Norwegian Possessor Raising with Unergatives

Helge Lødrup


It has always been a standard assumption in the literature that possessor raising (as in She kissed him on the cheek) is limited to transitive verbs, and the theory of possessor raising has been designed to capture this restriction. This paper shows that Norwegian possessor raising is productive not only with transitive verbs, but also with unergative verbs (e.g. Han tråkket henne på føttene `he stepped her on the feet'). The 'raised' possessor is argued to be non-thematic with unergative verbs. Apart from this difference, possessor raising with transitive and unergative verbs is very similar syntactically. It is proposed that possessor raising is a unitary phenomenon in Norwegian, and it is shown how Lexical Functional Grammar can give a unified analysis in a natural way. The similarity of possessor raising to equi ("control") and raising in the verbal domain is also discussed.

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