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Wie regieren Nomina? Rektionskomposita aus syntaktischer und semantischer Sicht


Back to issue: Linguistische Berichte Heft 256

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So-called ‘Rektionskomposita’ (synthetic compounds: compounds in which the first member fills an argument of the second member) are often viewed as syntactically determined structures, such that it is automatically the ‘first sister’, usually the complement, that can serve as first member of a synthetic compound. In this article it is shown that this view is not tenable. From a theoretic-syntactic perspective one would have to assume a basic argument order that is in contradiction to well-known binding facts. From an empirical perspective, it is demonstrated by means of a questionnaire experiment that complements are preferred as first members in synthetic compounds, but that this is only a side-effect from differences in the acceptability with respect to thematic role selection and, especially, animacy. So it is concluded that synthetic compounds are not different from ordinary determinative compounds in that it is only semantic and not syntactic principles that govern the interpretation