Patient arguments of causative verbs can be omitted: The role of information structure in argument distribution

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Abstract

This paper offers an examination of the distributional range of causative verbs. Contra many claims in the literature that these verbs have highly circumscribed distributions, we demonstrate that they readily appear in a wide variety of argument structure frames. The appearance of causative verbs with omitted patient arguments is analyzed in particular detail and an account is offered in which properties of information structure play a critical role. Constructional influences and lexical semantic factors are shown to be relevant as well, both in the case of omitted arguments and in licensing resultative and path phrases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-524
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage Sciences
Volume23
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 9 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Keywords

  • Causative verbs
  • Information structure
  • Omitted arguments
  • Resultatives

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