``Optimal'' Linking for Modern Greek Psych Verb Constructions
This paper focuses on the semantic properties and the syntactic behaviour of MG ESPVCs like the following:
I Maria fovate tis kategides. the Maria.N fear.3S the storms.A "Mary is afraid of the storms."
I Maria fovate me tis kategides. the Maria.N fear.3S with the storms "Mary is afraid of the storms."
I Maria.N fovate ton Giani. the Maria.N fear.3S the John.A "Mary is afraid of John."
I Maria.N fovate me ton Giani. the Maria.N fear.3S with the John.A "Mary is afraid of John."
We account for the semantic and syntactic properties of the constructions in (1)-(4) by relying on the linking architecture that Butt, Dalrymple, and Frank (1997) have proposed as an alternative to the fully deterministic principles of standard LMT. We show that the "optimal linking" theory makes the correct predictions for the linking of the EXPR ("experiencer") and the EXPD ("experienced") semantic arguments of Modern Greek (MG) Experiencer-Subject Psych Verb Constructions (ESPVCs) and predicts that the variant of MG ESPVCs which realizes syntactically the EXPD ("experienced") semantic argument as an accusative NP (examples (1) and (3)) ranks higher (is "more optimal") than the variant which realizes syntactically the EXPD ("experienced") semantic argument as the complement of a PP phrase (examples (2) and (4)). This ranking reflects in a way the fact that in order to express the meaning Mary is afraid of the storms native speakers prefer the construction in (1), rather than the one in (2), which is also mirrored in the rate of the marked variant of MG ESPVCs ((2) and (4)) in the Greek ECI corpus (5,568%).