Aspect of English Unaccusative Verbs

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Key words: inergative, internal/external argument, imperfective/perfective (aspect), raising verb, situation type, unacusative, viewpoint (aspect).

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... This proposal also goes hand in hand with the number of other lexicalist, syntactic and constructional approaches which enhance the role of interpretation of contextualized constructions and/or propositions (cf. Aljović, 2000Aljović, , 2015Arad, 1998;Duffley, 1999;Goldberg 1995Goldberg , 2009Levin, 1993Levin, , 2000Milivojević 2016Milivojević , 2021aMilivojević , 2021bMilivojević , 2021cMourelatos, 1978;Perlmutter, 1970;Pustejovsky, 1995;Talmy, 1991, among others). The underlying, or potential meanings may be actualized in different ways in usage, where the resulting senses are then seen as actual meanings. ...
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The aim of the paper is to investigate aspectual value of secondary aspectual verb phrase in Serbian in terms of both grammatical and lexical aspect (Aktionsart). The present analysis focuses on two secondary aspectualizers krenuti and stati, which when used as lexical verbs have the opposite meanings related to motion in space, but when they appear as phase construction heads both verbs modify the opening segment of the aspectual event. The central idea of the proposal is that event types in general largely depend on temporal structures which need to be contextualized before they are formally identifiable. In other words, contrary to traditional approaches which define lexical aspect as inherent to verb meaning, we claim that each verb form (or any lexical and/or grammatical form for that matter) has an underlying meaning through which it entertains systematic relations with other forms in a language (Hirtle 1982:40). We start form aspectual and Aktionsart features of krenuti and stati as verb lexemes, then move onto the level of syntax to identify the co-compositional aspect of the overall phase construction via event structure and event segmentation mechanisms. Finally, the present paper aims to examine different uses of the two secondary aspectual verbs, along with the different types of events they can denote in order to bring to light the potential meanings which give rise to the various contextual senses of the aspectual construction. The reported results of the analysis were checked on the Corpus of Contemporary Serbian Language (SrpKor 2013). Key words: aspectual constructions, Aktionsart, aspectual event, temporal structure, secondary aspectualizer, event segmentation, event co-composition
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The present research is an attempt at systematic and consistent formal analysis of lexical semantics of Serbian secondary aspectual verbs krenuti, uzeti and stati. Theoretical background of the research is the Lexical Projectionist Model proposed by B. Levin (1993), along with the primary postulates of aspectual event segmentation introduced by A. Freed (1979). We claim that the primary lexical meaning of the verbs krenuti, uzeti and stati is the key to their capacity to appear with additional (modal and phase) denotations when they are used as complement-taking verbs. We propose formal lexical specifications which are to encode all the relevant semantic features and complement preferences for each verb under analysis, on the level of the lexicon. Secondary aspectualisers also carry markers of inherent semantics which influence the way in which they denote phase: krenuti is additionally marked for dynamicity and causality, whereas uzeti and stati both express strong dynamic Aktionsart on the constructional (syntactic) level. In terms of event segmentation, krenuti modifies either the onset or the nucleus of the aspectual event, while uzeti and stati as a rule refer to its nucleus. Consequently, out of the three analysed verbs, only krenuti can appear with the complement whose event can be cancelled (cf. Dufey 2006, Nagy 2016, Milivojević 2021c).
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Писмо 96, које је Плиније Млађи упутио цару Трајану, представља један од малобројних римских извора о раним хришћанима. Поред односа римске власти према новом религијском покрету, Плиније Млађи нам у овом писму у неколико реченица оставља и веома вриједне податке о заједници раних хришћана и њиховом богослужењу. Овај дио Плинијевог писма представља једини нехришћански опис организације и окупљања раних хришћана на почетку II вијека у провинцији Битинији и Понту (сјеверни дио садашње Турске). На основу овог кратког, али веома вриједног пасуса у Плинијевом писму покушаћемо да откријемо какво је било богослужење раних хришћана у Битинији и у чему се оно разликовало у односу на касније утврђене литургијске каноне.
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The goal of this article is twofold. First, I explore the hypothesis that a number of regularities in the distribution of the two types of inchoative constructions with verbs of change of state in French, the superficially intransitive construction and the reflexive construction (illustrated in (1)–(3)), can be captured by an analysis whereby monovalent verbs of change of state may project the Patient argument to the subject or to the object position. When the Patient argument is projected to the subject position (as in (1a) and (3a)), the construction is unergative. When it is projected to the object position, the construction is unaccusative (as in (1b)–(3b)). Verbs of change of state in French diner as to whether they may enter an intransitive inchoative construction (1), a reflexive inchoative construction (2) or both (3).(Received January 22 1991)(Revised October 27 1991)
I: Verb Classes.- I: Intransitive Verbs and Auxiliaries.- 1.0. Introduction.- 1.1. Free Inversion.- 1.2. The Distribution of ne.- 1.3. Ergative Verbs.- 1.4. On the Syntax of ne.- 1.5. Reflexive, Ergative and Inherent-reflexive si.- 1.6. Impersonal si.- 1.6.0. Introduction.- 1.6.1. SI as a Subject Argument.- 1.6.2. Object Preposing.- 1.7. Auxiliary Assignment.- 1.8. Linear Order.- 1.9. Conclusion.- Notes.- 2: The Syntax of Inversion.- 2.0. Introduction.- 2.1. Null Subjects and Cliticization.- 2.2. Null Subjects and Free Inversion.- 2.3. Inversion Relations and Emphatic Pronouns.- 2.4. Residual Questions.- 2.5. Piedmontese ye.- 2.5.0. Introduction.- 2.5.1. Inflectional Clitics.- 2.5.2. Inversion.- 2.5.3. Italian ci.- 2.5.4. Verb Agreement.- 2.5.5. Conclusion.- 2.6. French il.- 2.6.1. Subject Pronouns.- 2.6.2. Il-inversion and Auxiliary Assignment.- 2.6.3. Se moyen.- 2.7. English there.- 2.7.0. Introduction.- 2.7.1. 'Be' as a Raising Verb.- 2.7.2. Inversion with 'be'.- 2.7.3. Presentational there.- 2.8. Conclusion.- Notes.- 3: on Reconstruction and Other Matters.- 3.0. Introduction.- 3.1. Subject ?-role and Case.- 3.1.1. Minus Accusative.- 3.1.2. Double Objects.- 3.1.3. By-phrases.- 3.2. Past Participial Clauses.- 3.2.0. Introduction.- 3.2.1. English.- 3.2.2. Impersonal Passives.- 3.2.3. Italian sc Relatives.- 3.3. Reconstruction.- 3.3.0. Introduction.- 3.3.1. Each Interpretation.- 3.3.2. Quantifier Scope.- 3.3.3. Reconstruction and the Projection Principle.- Notes.- II: Complex Predicates.- 4: Causative Constructions.- 4.0. Introduction.- 4.1. Faire-Infinitive.- 4.1.0. Introduction.- 4.1.1. Syntactic Derivation.- 4.1.2. Sentential Complement.- 4.1.3. Exceptional Case Marking.- 4.1.4. Cliticization.- 4.1.5. VP-movement.- 4.2. Faire-par.- 4.2.0. Introduction.- 4.2.1. Base-generation.- 4.2.2. Thematic Subject.- 4.2.3. On the 'Transformational' Approach.- 4.3. Similarities between FI and FP.- 4.4. Syntactic Subject.- 4.5. Ergative Complements of fare.- 4.5.0. Introduction.- 4.5.1. Dative and Reflexive Objects.- 4.5.2. Dativized Subjects.- 4.5.3. Further Remarks and Conclusions.- 4.6. FI versus Reconstruction.- 4.7. On Perception Verbs.- 4.8. Conclusion.- Notes.- 5: Restructuring Constructions.- 5.0. Introduction.- 5.1. Syntactic Derivation.- 5.2. Restructuring with andare, venire.- 5.3. Embedded Subject.- 5.4. Similarities between Restructuring and Causative Constructions.- 5.5 Auxiliaries and Past Participle Agreement.- 5.6. Subject Substitution.- 5.7. Auxiliaries in Some Special Cases.- 5.8. More on the Differences between Causative and Restructuring Constructions.- 5.8.0. Introduction.- 5.8.1. Subject Substitution versus VP-Complements.- 5.8.2. Matrix Passives.- 5.8.3. Prepositional Infinitives.- 5.8.4. Summary.- 5.9. Conclusion.- Notes.- 6: Reflexives.- 6.0. Introduction.- 6.1. Reflexives and Auxiliary Assignment.- 6.2. Reflexives in Complex Predicates.- 6.3. Reflexives as Lexical Affixes.- 6.3.0. Introduction.- 6.3.1. Ergative and Inherent-reflexive si.- 6.3.2. Inversion and sc Relatives.- 6.3.3. Reflexives under faire.- 6.4. Conclusion 427 Notes.- Closing Remarks.- Index of Names.- Analytical Index.
The relation between the meaning and the syntax of lexical items is among the more frustrating issues in linguistics: on the one hand it seems clear that the meaning of a lexical item determines at least to some degree the syntactic behavior of its participant roles; on the other hand, attempts to characterize the relation explicitly tend not to be very successful. In this paper I look at the unaccusative/unergative distinction in Dutch as an example of a distinction for which it is felt that some semantic correlates should be available (e.g. in traditional grammar, Pollmann, 1975; Perlmutter, 1978; Zaenen, 1988) but for which it has also been argued that no semantic criteria can be found (Hoekstra, 1984; and more generally, Rosen, 1984). Rosen (1984) remarks à propos of semantic criteria for unaccusativity that “one cannot state a semantic criterion that actually works: not animacy of the argument, not agentive or volitional meaning, not existential or presentential meaning”. I will show that even this state of affairs does not mean that one has to reject all forms semantic grounding of a particular syntactic behavior. Following Pesetsky (1987), I will call the hypothesis that such grounding can be found, the “transparency hypothesis”.
As is well known, what appears to be the same verb, may often show up in very different syntactic realizations. In addressing such phenomena (or lexical structure in general), two distinct questions have been at times conflated: One is the question of the mapping (linking) from the lexicon (thematic structure) to syntactic structure, namely, which theta role should realize in which argument position. This is addressed by principles like the Theta criterion, Baker's (1988) UTAH, or Grimshaw's (1990) mapping of argument-structure to syntactic structure, as well as many other linking proposals. I will not be concerned here with this question. The other question is the structure of the lexicon itself, e.g. do the verbs in each group above, which appear to have different thematic structure, correspond to one or more lexical entries.
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