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Titill

The Resultative Construction. Cutting Verb Classes a Break

Útgáfa
Mars 2009
Útdráttur

The resultative construction, while not unique to English, is relatively rare. Because
of that, it is of interest to study it. To better understand the resultative construction, the
question whether it is syntactically or semantically motivated has been the focal point of
much research.
First I review some major theoretical accounts of the resultative construction; the
Binary SC Analysis, the Ternary Analysis, the Hybrid SC Analysis, and a semantic analysis.
Second I explore certain classes of verbs; in particular break-verbs, cut-verbs and hit-verbs
as defined by Levin (1993). These classes of verbs, generally defined as compatible with
the resultative construction, show variable behavior in the resultative construction with
regard to their resultative phrases. By comparing these classes, as well as comparing
constituents within each class, I attempt to make an argument in favor of one of the
accounts covered.
I present evidence that the post-verbal NP is in some cases selected by the verb
which favors the Ternary and Hybrid SC Analyses. Furthermore, evidence that the RP is
itself selected by the verb favors the Ternary analysis. However, these verb classes are
limited to verbs pertaining to transmission of force and therefore inherently do not offer any
examples violating the DOR, which is a strong argument in favor of a semantic account of
resultatives. I therefore conclude that while these verb classes offer insufficient insight into
the resultative construction, further research into the connection between verb classes and
the resultative construction may provide fruitful.

Birting
6.3.2009


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