This book makes an original contribution to the understanding of perception
verbs and the treatment of argument structure, and offers new insights on
lexical causation, evidentiality, and processes of cognition. Perception
verbs - such as look, see, taste, hear, feel, sound, and listen - present
unresolved problems for theories of lexical semantics. This book examines
the relations between their semantics and syntactic behaviour, the
different kinds of polysemy they exhibit, and the role of evidentiality in
verbs like seem and sound. In unravelling their complexity Nikolas Gisborne
looks closely at their meanings, modality, semantic relatedness, and
irregularity. He frames his exposition in Word Grammar, and draws
extensively on work in cognitive linguistics and construction grammar.
After an opening chapter explaining the nature of the issues, Dr Gisborne
presents a concise introduction to Word Grammar. He then considers the
implications of his approach for a general theory of event structure. He
looks at how the framework may be applied to causation, argument linking,
and the modelling of polysemy. He examines the semantic similarities and
differences between listen- and hear-class verbs, and analyses the cognate
patterns of sound-class verbs. He concludes by drawing together his
findings and exploring their implications for linguistic theory.
Clearly and readably written, with each point of the argument illustrated
with well-chosen examples, this book will appeal to linguists of all
theoretical persuasions at graduate level and above.