Dispositions and the verbal description of their manifestations: a case study on Emission Verbs
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Verified email at mscc. Theoretical linguistics. Articles Cited by. The projection of arguments: Lexical and compositional factors, , In this line, one could even argue that there is almost no difference between verbs of cooking and verbs of killing since both make use of the same event structure, an assumption which leads us to detect that something is wrong with these two representations:. In order to circumvent this problem, I resort to the semantic parameters encoded in this lexical class and postulate the following: instrument, manner, purpose or reason.
The next step, as has been the usual practice thus far, consists of expanding the logical structure above and convert it into a lexical template. The resulting representation has the following format:. In order to account for this particular feature, I shall like to reformulate the lexical template above and add a DO operator, which signals agency as an inherent feature of the verb cf.
Van Valin and LaPolla, Furthermore, this operator explains why these verbs cannot participate in the Instrument Subject construction. Then, the revised lexical template is the following:. Then, this representation would go as follows; and effector w , using an instrument, intentionally carries out an action in a certain manner and with a certain purpose such that this causes that the instrument instigates another action causing that a patient y becomes dead.
Note that I have identified the a variable with the external instrument variable. The rest of the internal variables are not bound to any specific construction. As noted above in the discussion of consumption verbs, an intricate issue that arises concerns the semantic decomposition of the causative operator CAUSE. In this regard, compare the following two structures:. The first represent a lexical causative while the second is a clear example of a core juncture, and consequently the causality is much less direct than in a nuclear juncture or in a lexical causative.
Someone may object that the representation for both should be the same. Recall that this is one of the arguments against the use of semantic decomposition. This structure clearly differs from that proposed for a lexical causative such as kill. Despite this tentative analysis, it is unquestionable that one of the most intriguing and fascinating lines of research is to explore the universality and primitive nature of some of the predicates.
In this regard, either an ontology or a set of culture-bound universals can serve as an alternative to detect where the chain of decomposition actually ends. However, this is an issue which is beyond the scope of this paper. Finally, it is necessary to analyze whether there is any type of constraint on the directionality of the lexical template. In consonance with this, there are some authors who proclaim that lexical templates should be minimal representations, while others claim just the opposite.
My analysis has shown that both processes are possible and this justifies the fact that the general linking principle — the Lexical Template Modelling Process LTMP - is in itself a modelling process, without invoking neither a reductionist nor a maximalist orientation. In the most recent literature the notion of template has been adopted by some linguistic models. In this regard, there are two questions that merit a brief comment:.
Our approach formulates a maximal representation since this intends to capture the whole conceptual substance of a lexical class, though without invoking that reduction processes hold to account for those syntactic configurations which do not fit the model in full. Template Augmentation: Event structure templates may be freely augmented up to other possible templates in the basic inventory of event structure templates.
Thus, if we consider a prototypical activity verb like sweep its basic template would be:. However, the use of this predicate in a resultative construction entails the expansion of its basic activity template resulting in the following:.
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This procedure seems to work properly for these verbs, and makes in principle hard to decide whether a reduction or an expansion process is the right choice. I have found compelling evidence, both from the primary and the affixal lexicon, that shows that it is desirable to formulate maximal representations, and thus unrestricted in nature, to minimal representations, which serve as input for expansion processes.
This kind of solution runs the risk of being unrestrictive and unconstrained: it leaves open the possibility of yielding impossible or non-lexicalized structures, like the following:. Fight , as any activity verb would be an optimal candidate for augmentation to yield a causative accomplishment reading where the activity becomes the causing subevent for an accomplishment; but there is no such meaning available for this verb. In much the same way, if we consider the template proposed for externally caused change of state verbs break, destroy, smash, decompose , etc.
However, since this structure cannot be further augmented because it is already a maximal projection, this makes it difficult to account for the following instances:. LOB In contrast, as noted above, our proposal already codifies this resultative phrase by means of the variable z in the expanded lexical template. This, again, is one more argument in favour of proposing maximal representations for the lexical properties of lexical classes.
Lexical templates, on the other hand, in being maximalist avoid the danger of overgenerating non-realized alternations; this involves a more economical kind of explanation. It is clear that these two possible meanings are bound directly to the polysemous nature of the verbal base: to descend can refer to the action of going down along a vertical path, in which case its event structure is that of an activity:. It is evident that the stative reading is part of a complex event structure such that it is possible to conflate under one single meta-entry the two possible interpretations without having to stipulate two different lexical entries, one for descend as an activity:.
The maximizing approach is more economical in having to establish only one representation for the verb, something that is in accord with my aim of designing a minimalist lexicon. The affix will have then access to this meta-entry and will select all or part of it for the elaboration of the representation underlying the derived word.
That is, affixes are sensitive to the semantic parameter of degree of event elaboration D. Kemmer , and Wee : affixes can opt to choose the event represented in the meta-entry as an undifferentiated whole:. Of course, I claim that the D. This parameter also refers to the extent to which participants in an event are distinguished. In the case of agentive formations the D. Role and Reference Grammar posits both directions, either reduction or expansions.
For example, the lexical rules in section 4. These would clearly be expansions.untenchopoho.tk
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Initially, when I began my research, it seemed to me more reasonable to propose a maximal form underlying the class and then to argue that the different verbs left different aspects of the maximal lexical template out. As things stand, I firmly believe that both expansion and reduction must be allowed but tightly constrained.
In order to make things clear, the format of a lexical template is a maximal expression but a different issue is the way this interacts with specific syntactic configurations. In this regard, I claim that the accommodation of a lexical template to a specific construction can take a maximized or reduced format. That is, I will be talking about modelling processes. This avoids the issue of whether lexical representations should be minimal or maximal representations, a theoretical issue which is highly controversial. This paper has been mainly concerned with the notion of lexical template.
Firstly, the major current approaches to lexical representations have been addressed with a view to showing that these primarily proclaim that the identification of those elements which form part of a lexical representation should be equated with those aspects which are grammatically salient. In connection with this, I advance the claim that a full semantic decomposition should be posited in order to explain the full meaning potential of a predicate.
With this assumption in mind, I explain why the notion of lexical template grows out. In the second part of this paper, an explicit account of the nature of the lexical representation as well as the format of a lexical template is given.
In order to prove the explanatory value of the notion of lexical template, I bring to the forefront the lexical templates proposed for a wide variety of lexical classes. Bach, E. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.