Revealing implicit causes in passives, -able adjectives, -tion nominalizations and middles


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    Causative verbs describe situations in which one event participant acts upon another participant, as a result of which the second participant undergoes a change of state. Typically, a causative verb combines with an agent participant, who is animate, acts with volition and intention and causes a change of state. But the participant instigating a change of state does not need to be an agent; a change of state can also come about as the result of a natural cause affecting a second participant. For example, an earthquake can damage a brick house, a hurricane can destroy a beach house and a sand storm can cover up a tent. While agents have been studied in much detail in linguistic theory, there is hardly any attention to the properties of natural causes as subjects of causative verbs (with a few recent exceptions: Copley & Martin 2014; Demirdache & Martin 2015; Schäfer 2012, and some earlier work Folli & Harley 2008). I will compare Agent and natural Cause subjects in various constructions that involve a so-called implicit Agent, to see if they also allow an implicit Cause: passive, –able adjectives, –tion and –ing nominalizations, and middle constructions. After analyzing to what extent the syntactic properties of implicit Agents and Causes come out the same, I will discuss the consequences for interface theories between lexical semantics and syntax. Which features of lexical verb meaning—change of state, animacy, intentionality, volition—carry over as the syntactic manifestation of implicit Agent and Cause arguments in syntax and derivational morphology?
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelT.O.M. and Grammar
    SubtitelThoughts on Mind and Grammar: A Festschrift in honor of Tom Roeper
    RedacteurenBart Hollebrandse, J. Kim, Anna Pérez-Lerouz, Petra Schulz
    Plaats van productieAmherst, Massachusetts
    Aantal pagina's10
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-1729520659
    StatusPublished - 2018

    Publicatie series

    NaamUniversity of Massachusetts Occasional Papers

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