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VerbsAspect and Causal Structure$
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William Croft

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248582.001.0001

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Complex predicate constructions and the semantics of simple verbs

Complex predicate constructions and the semantics of simple verbs

(p.320) 8 Complex predicate constructions and the semantics of simple verbs

William Croft

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8, “Complex predicate constructions and the semantics of simple verbs”, compares the semantic possibilities of certain complex predicate constructions in order to gain a better understanding of the semantics of simple verbal constructions. Resultative constructions (those combining a main predicate with a result expression) fall into two categories, which are best characterized in terms of the contrast between directed change and undirected change. The range of semantic relations between subevents found in depictive constructions, serial verb constructions and converb constructions also suggest that by contrast, the semantics of simple verb constructions are more constrained in a number of semantic dimensions. Simple verbs appear to denote maximally individuated events.

Keywords:   event structure, verbs, verbal semantics, resultative constructions, depictive constructions, serial verb constructions, converb constructions, directed change, undirected change, aspect

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