On the Placement of the Reflexive/ Reciprocal Marker –si- in Lithuanian Verbs


  • Julija Korostenskienė




Set within the generative syntactic tradition, the present article examines the interchange in the layout of the reflexive/ reciprocal marker (RM) and the verb in prefixed and prefixless Lithuanian verbs, a long-standing historical puzzle. It is first shown that the RM is obligatorily coreferential with the subject of the sentence. Given the generative premise that all subjects are merged within the verb, it is argued that the RM is a physically manifest trace of the subject and forms a binding domain with its antecedent, which stipulates the layout of morphemes within the verb. In addition, the position of the RM also depends on whether its antecedent is an agent, experiencer, or theme, since these have different merging, i.e. original, positions. After the relationship between the RM, the sentence subject and the verb has been defined, prefixes are examined since they form the left boundary of the RM in prefixed verbs. Given their resultative meaning, verbal prefixes are argued to occupy an aspectual position AspP, placed immediately above the verbal complex, i.e. v/VP and the RM within it. Since in non-contrastive contexts, the negative clitic is attached to the verb and consequently affects the position of the RM in otherwise prefixless verbs, inducing change just as the resultative prefixes, the binding domain is determined for the following types of the morphological composition of the verb: prefixed and non-prefixed positive and negative verb forms.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.sal.0.28.15126