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Summary Details

Query:   Sum: Levin/Vendler verb cross-classification
Author:  Brian Murphy
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Semantics

Summary:   Thanks for all replies! In the end I didn't receive any references to work combining Levin and Vendler verb classes. However several respondents wrote about work on semantic criteria that determine passivisation.

Helge L?drup (University of Oslo) has written a paper on how aspectual class and the semantic role of subjects determine passivisation of verbs in Norwegian. It seems that there are more restrictions on verb passivisation in Norwegian, but that in very broad terms, the criteria are similar to those in German and English.

Helge L?drup 2000: ''Exceptions to the Norwegian passive:
Unaccusativity, aspect and thematic roles'' in
Norsk lingvistisk tidsskrift 1, 2000. Pp. 37-54.

Alexander Loengarov (Catholic University of Leuven) makes the
interesting point that Levin's classes addresses clausal complement alternations only marginally, concentrating on NP/PP arguments. He is particularly interested in the
indicative/subjunctive alternation in Romance languages.

Willem Hollman (University of Manchester) wrote his 2003 PhD on a universal account of periphrastic causatives (eg ''He was made do it''), including their passivisation.

Bart van Bezooijen (University of Leiden) mentions the cross-linguistic variation in the passivisation of dative constructions. In English both the patient and the recipient/benefactor, can be promoted to subject.
However this seems to be unusual. In Dutch only the patient can be promoted, while in some Bantu languages only the benefactor can be promoted (when introduced by verbal morphology).

Brian Murphy
Trinity College Dublin

LL Issue: 15.1497
Date Posted: 11-May-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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