Interpreting causee in a ‘permissive’ causative: A case study on Teochew


  • Zhuosi Luo Georgetown University



causee interpretation, permissive causatives, LF phasehood, argument structure, modality


The verbal domain has been long argued to be a strong phase, of which the origin can be traced back to the discussions on theta role assignment in Chomsky (2000). This study contributes to the phasehood issue at the understudied LF by exploring the argument thematic interpretation in the verbal domain. I argue that in Teochew permissive bun-causative, the interpretation of causee as an understudied external argument is not listed as syntactic primitives, but rather as post-syntactic derivatives derived from syntactically-oriented causal event structure. Such a causal event structure is first affected by the eventuality of the embedded predicate and then influenced by two modalities sublexically encoded in the embedding causative verb, namely a volitional modality in the at-issue meaning and a deontic modality in the presupposition. Such a two-step contextualization mechanism constrains the final interpretation of causee, and, for the first time, sheds light on discussions on the domain sensitivity at LF.




How to Cite

Luo, Zhuosi. 2024. “Interpreting Causee in a ‘permissive’ Causative: A Case Study on Teochew”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (1): 5654.