From: Chao Li <chao.liyale.edu>
Subject: Resultatives from a cross-linguistic perspective
Query for this summary posted in LINGUIST Issue:
Regarding query: http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-1344.html
First of all, I’d like to thank Werner Abraham, Liang Chen, Marina Gorlach,
Jean-Charles Khalifa, Andrew McIntyre, Hasan Mesut Meral, Stefan Müller,
Toby Paff, Janet Randall, and Konrad Szczesniak for responding to my
query. Although I summarize the responses below, I sincerely hope that the
summary will serve as a call for more responses rather than an indication
of an end of a query. Note that in this case, if a simple answer “No, there
is no resultatives in X language” is so informative. Moreover, I’d like to
make more summaries if I receive more information.
1. General Information
1.1 From Liang Chen:
“You may be able to find answers for most of your questions in the
following two works by William Snyder”:
Snyder, William. 1995. Language Acquisition and Language Variation: The
Role of Morphology. Doctoral dissertation, MIT. Distributed by MIT Working
Papers in Linguistics.
Snyder, William. 2001. On the nature of syntactic variation: Evidence from
complex predicates and complex word-formation. Language 77: 324-342.
1.2 From Marina Gorlach:
Marina pointed me to her book Phrasal Constructions and Resultativeness in
English (John Benjamins, 2004). “It summarizes the morphological and
syntactic ways of expressing resultative meaning in English, but also gives
Russian examples and provides comparison.”
1.3 From Jean-Charles Khalifa:
“French has no such constructions [resultatives], all the examples you're
providing would have to be expressed periphrastically, or by means of
adjunct clauses (such as ''because X did Y'', etc.).”
1.4 From Andrew McIntyre:
“In the following article, there is some discussion of the fact that PP
resultatives seem to be less typologically marked than AP resultatives:
-Kaufmann, Inrid, & Wunderlich, Dieter, 1998. Cross-linguistic patterns of
resultatives. Theorie des Lexikons. Arbeiten des SFB 282. Nr. 109.” Andrew
also sent me his 2004 article “Event paths, conflation, argument structure,
and VP shells” (in Linguistics 42: 523-71), in which “I analyse
English-type resultatives as a sort of serial verb construction where the
pronounced verb compounds with a light verb.”
1.5 From Stefan Müller:
Stefan pointed me to his book Complex Predicates: Verbal Complexes,
Resultative Constructions, and Particle Verbs in German
(http://www.cl.uni-bremen.de/~stefan/Pub/complex.html) and two of his
articles: (1) “Elliptical Constructions, Multiple Frontings, and
(http://www.cl.uni-bremen.de/~stefan/Pub/surface.html); (2) “Phrasal or
Lexical Constructions? (http://www.cl.uni-bremen.de/~stefan/Pub/phrasal.html).
1.6 From Toby Paff:
“I'm especially interested in the Chinese case, which is probably not as
isolated as it might seem. The parallels to English are indeed intriguing.
In the case of English, the use of the generalized ''get'' (somewhat like
''nonq/nung'' in Mandarin?) as in ''He got mad/drunk/silly'' might be related.
I got drunk. // I got him drunk.
Romance languages certainly have some interesting data as well. Consider
the ''reflexive'', in Spanish (or, differently in French and Italian):
Se puso furioso/palido/enfermo (He got angry/pale/sick).
Se canso (he got tired, where the ''verb'' itself incorporates the idea).
These are not quite the same, but, I bet, similar.”
1.7 From Janet Randall:
Janet referred me to the 1992 article “The argument structure and syntactic
structure of resultatives” (Linguistic Inquiry 23: 173-234) by her and Jill
Carrier. She said, “I now take the position that your example (4) He danced
out of the room is not a resultative at all,” because it doesn’t have “what
I call an ‘extent’ interpretation.” She pointed out, “To be a resultative,
the activity has to be done ‘to such an extent’ that it causes the result
to come about. There are three possibilities:
(1) duration (for a long time),
(2) iteration (over and over) or
(3) force (once, strongly).”
2. On Resultatives in Specific Languages
2.1 On German
Stefan Müller wrote, “In German both adjectives and PPs are possible.
German is considered to be verb final and in subordinated clauses
(considered the base case) the verb follows the resultative predicate. It
can be argued that adjective and verb form a complex predicate (there are
different analyses of this phenomenon, but having a complex predicate is
one option). Like in English a reflexive has to be used if the verb is not
unaccusative and one wants to refer to the subject of the verb.”
Werner Abraham pointed out,
“In German, there is plenty of resultatives, both with APs and with PPs.
Res's have a very high frequency and are applied almost limitless and very
often metaphorically. The very same holds for Dutch.
etwas flach hämmern ''something flatt hammer''
Eier in die Pfanne hauen ''eggs into the pan throw''
PPs invovled are always directional, i.e. P+accusatives! Thus, only Ps
allowing accusatives government can be used.They are always perfective
given directionality and accusative cas of the object!
Your exs. (4)-(5), however, do NOT qualify as prepositions: ''off'' and
''out'' are verbal particles, which govern their own cases, at least in German.
Due to relatively free word order in German, the resultative can precede
the actor noun;
Ganz müde hat er sich gelaufen 'very-tired-has-he-himself-run'
Compounding is involved to the extent that AP/PP are part of the verb or
predicate the lexicon entry being:
''sich müdelaufen'' himself-tiredrun
etwas grünstreichen'' smthg greenpaint (note the compound orthography!)
[Can statives serve] as resultative governing verbs[?] NO, because statives
cannot be causatives/agentives. There is always the semantic component
MAKE/CAUSE involved demanding an actor! Your (8)-example stems from the
fact that Mandarin ''worry'' is a homonym in other languages, e.g. in German:
für jemanden sorgen = for-someone-worry
sich sorgen = himself-worry
Your (8) would be in German:
Er sorgte sich müde für seine Frau
he worried himself tired for his wife
I do not take perception predicates as statives. True statives are BE,
HAVE, SEEM, APPEAR AS etc.”
2.2 On Polish
Konrad Szczesniak provided the following information:
“Polish has PP resultatives, but it seems to me Polish should not be
dismissed as a PP-only-resultative language. What I mean is that it does
have translations of the English AP resultative phrases, but they also
require a preposition:
Jill rozebrala sie do naga.
[Jill stripped herself TO naked]
Jill stripped herself naked.
Chlopcy upili sie na wesolo.
[Boys drank themselves ON happy]
The boys drank themselves happy.”
“[I]n Polish resultative phrases can be based on various parts of speech
as long as they are preceded by a preposition. Well, there are more
possibilities than just preposition+noun, or +adj. Polish has resultative
phrases based on preposition+adverb, and preposition+verb:
Adam zranil Ewe do ZYWEGO.
[Adam hurt Eve to LIVE/ALIVE]
Adam hurt Eve to the quick.
Adam wytarl Ewe do SUCHA.
[Adam rubbed Eve to DRY/DRYLY]
Adam rubbed Eve dry.
VERB [in GERUND form]:
Adam powtarzal te slowa do ZNUDZENIA/ZARZYGANIA.
[Adam repeated these words to BORING/PUKING]
Adam repeated these words ad nauseam.”
“As to why a 'bare' AP resultative is not allowed, it would be my
speculation that the resultative in Polish is perceived as directional (at
least metaphorically) and so it requires a preposition.”
“Polish looks to me more analytical. The resultative phrase is normally
placed after the object. Now, although Polish does allow the resultative
phrase before the object, it is a mere inversion allowed also in English
(especially when the object is expressed by many words).
Wandale rozbili te szybe w mak.
Vandals smashed this glass into smithereens.
Wandale rozbili w mak te szybe
Vandals smashed into smithereens this glass
[ktora ci kupilem wczoraj].
[I bought for you yesterday].”
“I have been trying to simulate in my mind a number of sentences with
stative verbs and they don't seem to allow resultative phrases, except for
one. But it looks like a lexical / idiomatic thing, and it is definitely
not very productive:
Adam i Ewa kochaja sie na zaboj.
[Adam and Eve love each other ON kill.]
Adam and Eve are madly in love.
I think it is a resultative and not merely an adverbial, because it is used
with non-stative verbs too, and it expresses a [metaphorical] result:
Adam i Ewa zakochali sie na zaboj.
[Adam and Eve fell in love ON kill.]
Adam and Eve fell in love.”
“The resultative is only predicated of the object in Polish (or deep
structure object in the case of unaccusative verbs). Unergative verbs
require a fake reflexive:
Dyrektor zakrzyczal SIE do nieprzytomnosci.
[Director screamed HIMSELF to unconsciousness]
The director screamed himself into unconsciousness.
Polish does not allow these [examples like (9) in the query] or those
mentioned in (viii) [in the query].”
2.3 On Russian
Marina Gorlach wrote,
“As far as Russian is concerned, the resultative meaning is expressed with
a prefix do- added to the reflexive form of a verb:
dostuchat'sja - kept knocking until somebody opened (stuchat' - to knock,
-sja - reflexive affix parallel to 'self')
dozvonit'sja - kept calling on the phone until somebody answered (zvonit' -
In resultative constructions the resultative phrase is not expressed by an
adjective, but is either a PP or an adverb:
On vytersja nasukho.
He wiped-himself dry (adv)
He wiped himself dry. (Adverb. Adj for dry would be 'sukhoj'')
Vera vyuchila stikh naizust'.
Vera has-learned poem by-heart
Vera has learned the poem by heart (adverb)
Ja prochla knigu do kontsa.
I have-read book till-the end.
I have finished reading the book. (PP)
By the way, in English the resultative meaning is very often expressed by
She cleaned the room up.
We swept the porch out.
She turned the radio on.
As far as I know, Hebrew doesn't use adjectives in resultative
constructions, but does use PP and adverbs.”
2.4 On Turkish
Hasan Mesut Meral wrote:
“I. Unlike English and German which have plenty of Resultative
Constructions (RCs), Turkish has a very limited number of them with [NP AP
V] structure. The Example (1) below indicates a resultative construction
with the order above: VP contains the complement NP 'kapi-yi' (the door),
the result phrase 'acik'(open) and the transitive verb 'birak-ti'(left).
(1)[IP Ali [VP [NP kapý-yi] [AP acik] birak-ti]]
Ali door-ACC open leave-PAST-AGR 3sg.
''Ali left the door open''
II. All of the RCs which Turkish makes use are resultatives with AP.
However, The example (2) below, an instance of PP resultative, can be
considered as resultative (for me it is not since the resultative meaning
is not clear)
(2)[IP Ali [VP [NP yapraklar-i] [PP kaldirim-a dogru] supur-du]]
Ali leaves-ACC sidewalk-DAT into sweep-PAST
''Ali swap the leaves into the sidewalk''
III. RCs in Turkish exhibit English like structure except the position of
theverb (Turkish is a head final language).
VI. Turkish RCs have object oriented reading (Example 3). However, it
allows both subject oriented and object oriented DEPICTIVE structures as
well. There is no subject oriented RCs in the language (ungrammaticality of
(3) [IP Ayse [VP [NP sac-i-ni] [AP kisa] kes-ti]]
Ayþe hair-POSS3sg-ACC short cut-PAST-AGR 3sg.
''Ayse cut her hair short''
(4)*?[IP Ali [VP [NP kendisi-ni] [AP ac] birak-ti]]
Ali himself-ACC hungry leave-PAST-AGR3sg.
''Ali left himself hungry''
Example (3) above has object oriented interpretation and the structure is
grammatical. Example (4), on the other hand, is ungrammatical with subject
VII. The example (9) of the original text is not attested in Turkish.
VIII. The example (10) of the original text is not attested in Turkish.”
Thank you again for your responses and I greatly appreciate your time and
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