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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an account of Basque behar ‘need’ within the TotalErg hypothesis that holds that Ergative case is inherent and Ergativity does not split. Predicates like behar ‘need’ appear to display a split in subject case assignment, and have been argued to provide crucial evidence against the tenants of TotalErg (Rezac, Albizu and Etxepare 2014) and in favor of a structural assignment of ergative case by Tense. I argue that these predicates are best accounted for as nominals, following Etxepare and Uribe-Etxebarria (2012) and Harves and Kayne (2012), and not as raising modals, as argued by Rezac et al (2014). The account in this chapter yields a uniform derivation for all instances of behar, independently of the type of complement the predicate takes and it allows us to do away with raising-to-ergative, predicted not to exist by the TotalErg approach, following the original claim in Marantz (2000).

Keywords: ergativity, inherent case, raising to ergative, split ergativity, Basque, case morphology

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