In this rich reference work, Beth Levin classifies over 3,000 English verbs
according to shared meaning and behavior. Levin starts with the hypothesis
that a verb's meaning influences its syntactic behavior and develops it
into a powerful tool for studying the English verb lexicon. She shows how
identifying verbs with similar syntactic behavior provides an effective
means of distinguishing semantically coherent verb classes, and isolates
these classes by examining verb behavior with respect to a wide range of
syntactic alternations that reflect verb meaning.
The first part of the book sets out alternate ways in which verbs can
express their arguments. The second presents classes of verbs that share a
kernel of meaning and explores in detail the behavior of each class,
drawing on the alternations in the first part. Levin's discussion of each
class and alternation includes lists of relevant verbs, illustrative
examples, comments on noteworthy properties, and bibliographic references.
The result is an original, systematic picture of the organization of the