Against a movement analysis of dać + się + infinitive structure in Polish

Anna Bondaruk


The paper analyses the syntax of the dać + się + infinitive structure in Polish. Semantically speaking, the structure comprises generic statements expressing the modal sense of capability. From the syntactic point of view, it shows argument realization typical of the passive and the middle construction, namely the thematic internal argument surfaces in the subject position. Since the dać + się + infinitive structure is superficially similar to passives and middles, an attempt is made to check whether it can be movement-derived, the way it has been commonly postulated for passives and middles. Actually, it is argued that the Polish dać + się + infinitive structure shares a number of syntactic properties with German lassen-middles, which have been recently analysed in terms of movement by Pitteroff (2014). The paper examines whether a movement-based derivation of the Polish dać + się + infinitive structure is tenable. Although initially attractive, after closer scrutiny, Pitteroff’s account turns out to be inapplicable to the Polish structure analysed here. Instead, it is suggested that the surface subject is based-generated within the matrix clause, and does not reach this position by means of movement of any kind.


lassen-middles; the passive voice; movement; dispositional interpretation; Polish; German

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Roczniki Humanistyczne · ISSN 0035-7707 | eISSN 2544-5200 | DOI: 10.18290/rh

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