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  • The Resultative Construction. Cutting Verb Classes a Break
  • Bakkalár
  • 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.

  • 6.3.2009

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