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Academic Paper


Title: From quick to quick-to-infinitival: on what is lexeme specific across paradigmatic and syntagmatic distributions
Author: MARTIN SCHÄFER
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Adjectives are paradigmatically versatile: they combine with many different items in the same syntactic configuration. They are also syntagmatically versatile: they occur in many different syntactic configurations. Given this versatility, how and to what extent can lexeme-specific preferences and features of the adjectives be identified? With the adjective quick as its starting point, this article answers this question by using corpus data, contrasting the behavior of quick with that of its semantic neighbors. Case study 1 investigates quick's attributive usage. It is shown that quick in its default usage combines with eventive heads, and that there are clear differences in combinatorial preferences across its semantic neighbors. Case study 2 investigates the quick-to-infinitival construction. Here, direct combination with eventive heads is impossible. It behaves differently from other adj-to-infinitival constructions as well as the competing quickly constructions. Comparison of the availability of this construction for quick's semantic neighbors, and linking this to the results of study 1, shows a clear connection between paradigmatic and syntagmatic distributions.

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This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 25, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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