We present an analysis of an understudied construction found in Philadelphia and Canadian English, and also in certain Vermont varieties. In this construction, the participle of certain verbs can appear along with a form of the verb be and a DP complement, producing strings like I'm done my homework, I'm finished my fries, and (in Vermont) I'm started the project. We show that the participle in the construction is an adjectival passive, not a perfect construction. We further argue that the internal argument DP in the construction is receiving Case from the adjectival head a, similar to what happens in all English dialects with the adjective worth, and that the internal argument is interpreted via a mechanism of complement coercion. The microparametric variation we find across English dialects with respect to the availability of this construction is accounted for by variation in the selectional restrictions on the a head.
Accepted Linguistic Variation