Unaccusativity: At the Syntax-lexical Semantics Interface

Front Cover
MIT Press, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 336 pages
0 Reviews

Unaccusativity is an extended investigation into a set of linguistic phenomena thathave received much attention over the last fifteen years. Besides providing extensive support forDavid Perlmutter's hypothesis that unaccusativity is syntactically represented but semanticallydetermined, this monograph contributes significantly to the development of a theory of lexicalsemantic representation and to the elucidation of the mapping from lexical semantics tosyntax.Perlmutter's Unaccusative Hypothesis proposes that there are two classes of intransitiveverbs - unergatives and unaccusatives - each associated with a distinct syntactic configuration.Unaccusativity begins by isolating the semantic factors that determine whether a verb will beunaccusative or unergative through a careful examination of the behavior of intransitive verbs froma range of semantic classes in diverse syntactic constructions. Notable are the extensivediscussions of verbs of motion, verbs of emission, and various types of verbs of change of state.Theauthors then introduce rules that determine the syntactic expression of the arguments of the verbsinvestigated and examine the interactions among them. The proper treatment of verbs thatsystematically show multiple meanings - and hence variable classification as unaccusative orunergative - is also considered. In the final chapter, the authors argue that the distribution oflocative inversion, a purported unaccusative diagnostic, is determined instead by discourseconsiderations.Linguistic Inquiry Monograph No. 26

  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Phrases
34
Resultative Construction
55
Chapter 3
79
Rules
158
Approaches
166
Behavior
182
The Problem of Locative Inversion
205
Introduction
218
Afterword
279
References
305
Sources of Examples
323
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1995)

Beth Levin is William H. Bonsall Professor in the Humanities at the Department of Linguistics, Stanford University.

Bibliographic information