Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Cognitive Literary Science

Edited by Michael Burke and Emily T. Troscianko

Cognitive Literary Science "Brings together researchers in cognitive-scientific fields and with literary backgrounds for a comprehensive look at cognition and literature."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Intonation and Prosodic Structure

By Caroline Féry

Intonation and Prosodic Structure "provides a state-of-the-art survey of intonation and prosodic structure."


Academic Paper


Title: The English dative alternation: The case for verb sensitivity
Author: Malka Rappaport Hovav
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Author: Beth Levin
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~beth/
Institution: Stanford University
Linguistic Field: Semantics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: We challenge the predominant view of the English dative alternation, which takes all alternating verbs to have two meanings: a caused possession meaning realized by the double object variant and a caused motion meaning realized by the to variant. Instead, we argue that verbs like give and sell only have a caused possession meaning, while verbs like throw and send have both caused motion and caused possession meanings. We show that the caused possession meaning may be realized by both variants. Concomitantly, we argue that verbs like give, even in the to variant, lack a conceptual path constituent, and instead have a caused possession meaning which can be understood as the bringing about of a 'have' relation. We reassess evidence for alternative approaches adduced from inference patterns and verb–argument combinations and demonstrate how our verb-sensitive analysis, when combined with an account of variant choice, provides a more insightful explanation of this data, while having wider coverage. Our investigation affirms proposals that a verb's own meaning plays a key role in determining its argument realization options. To conclude, we consider the crosslinguistic implications of our study, attempting to explain why so many languages lack a true dative alternation.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 44, Issue 1.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page