LSTL 08: Verb Semantics, Diathesis and Aspect

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895865725
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Verb Semantics, Diathesis and Aspect

Mila Dimitrova-Vulchanova
NTNU, Trondheim

This work addresses issues of the interface between the lexical specification of verbs and the level of Morpho-syntactic structure and verbal Aspect. The main claim is that the properties of constructions are largely predictable from the semantic properties of the head verb. This claim also extends to predictions concerning the aspectual properties of constructions. The languages on which this study is based include Germanic (English, Norwegian and German) and Slavic (Bulgarian and Russian). The analysis is carried out within a framework of grammar called 'The Sign Model', currently under development. The discussion focuses on a number of aspectual processes attested cross-linguistically and the problems they pose for a unified treatment. In the course of presentation an illustration is given of the systematic interrelation between the morpho-syntactic realization of constructions and their aspectual properties. While providing a discussion of the relevant existing proposals for the treatment of Aspect (Aspectuality) in view of the syntactic properties of constructions, the work also indicates a system geared towards a unified analysis.

A considerable part of the book is devoted to the implementation of the Sign Model to the analysis of passive constructions based on a notional definition of PASSIVE. A number of construction types cross-linguistically are matched against this definition, such as middles in English, impersonals in Germanic, and the Bulgarian constructions involving the reflexive clitic se. An attempt is made at defining the constraints for each of the above construction types which arise from the lexical specification of the head verbs. The book also includes a proposal concerning the aspectual properties of passives and the role palyed by passive morphology in aspect construal.

ISBN 9783895865725. LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 08. 200pp. 1999.

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