BETH LEVIN ENGLISH VERB CLASSES AND ALTERNATIONS PDF

Date: Sat, 18 Dec 93 From: T. Reviewed by T. Daniel Seely, Eastern Michigan University. It presents syntactic and semantic information which is valuable and easy to use. The book is rich in well- organized data there are thousands of entries in the verb index and the bulk of the book is made up of dozens of diathesis alternations and verb classes , it is thoroughly documented there are some references , and it has important theoretical implications nicely traced in the Introduction. It is, in short, an impressive accomplishment and it has become an indispensable part of my linguistics library.

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Date: Sat, 18 Dec 93 From: T. Reviewed by T. Daniel Seely, Eastern Michigan University. It presents syntactic and semantic information which is valuable and easy to use. The book is rich in well- organized data there are thousands of entries in the verb index and the bulk of the book is made up of dozens of diathesis alternations and verb classes , it is thoroughly documented there are some references , and it has important theoretical implications nicely traced in the Introduction.

It is, in short, an impressive accomplishment and it has become an indispensable part of my linguistics library. EVC is a "set of resource materials" which can be used in a great many ways more on that later. But it is not just a disconnected list of verb alternations and semantic subgroupings. Rather, it represents a well-conceived enterprise whose overall coherence can be found in the "hypothesis of semantic determination," viz 1 The meaning of a verb determines its syntactic behavior.

If the members of a set of verbs S share some meaning component M, then the members of S can be expected to exhibit the same syntactic behavior s , and b. The Introduction to EVC, for example, presents, illustrates, and defends 1 , Part I systematizes many of the syntactic behaviors verb alternations relevant to it, and Part II contains some of the " That is the frame, let me now add some of the picture.

As is made clear in the Introduction, 1 is controversial but worth pursuing; controversial in light of apparent counterexamples, but worth pursuing because 2 a.

The very readable Introduction covers each of these points; I summarize below. The counter-example that Levin considers, from Rosen , is this: The Italian verbs "russare" snore and "arrossire" blush share the meaning component "bodily process" while exhibiting disparate syntactic behavior--the former is unergative, the latter unaccusative.

As for the defense, Levin argues that the case is damaging only if there is reason for assuming that " Further details need not concern us here indeed, the discussion in the Introduction on this point is essentially review of other work, by Levin et al and others. The more general point is that 1 requires determining the appropriate meaning components, something which while necessary is not always easy.

A traditional view of the lexicon is wonderfully captured by Di Sciullo and Williams Although EVC has a tremendous bibliography, there are a number of conspicuous gaps.

There is no reference to Di Sciullo and Williams, for instance. Nor is there reference to work on s- and c-selection by Grimshaw and Pesetsky , work which is clearly and directly relevant to 1. If 1 is true, lexical information can be minimized in rather dramatic fashion.

Given such principles, the meaning of a verb will clearly have a place in its lexical entry, but it is possible that the entry will need to contain little more. What this amounts to is an exploitation of 1 b. If the members of some set of verbs behave alike with respect to diathesis alternations i. And "the availability of this technique for investigating word meaning is important since it can be quite difficult to pin down the meanings of words using introspection alone. Using "cut" as the representative case, they are found in the middle construction 3 , the conative alternation 4 , and the body-part possessor ascension alternation 5 : 3 a.

Kimi cut the bread b. Bread cuts quite easily. Kimi cut the bread. Kimi cut at the bread. Kimi cut Bill on the arm. Overall, then, there is a clear relation between the syntactic behavior and key elements of meaning. And it is also clear that without the syntactic pattern as a guide, we might not have grouped the words together to look for the shared meaning.

It is, after all, a reference work and like all good references it is limited only by the imagination of its user. At one point Levin states " I hope that [this book] will be a valuable resource for linguists and researchers inrelated fields. Di Sciullo, A. Grimshaw, J. Pesetsky, D. Rosen, C. Perlmutter and C. The University of Chicago Press. Edu Description of the content: This book may be divided into three parts, to wit, the introduction and parts one and two.

The introduction, pp. The book attempts to "delimit Part 1 consists of a series of diathesis alternations which distinguish various verb classes, organized into major subtypes of alternations. Jane broke the cup. The cup broke. Mike ate the cake. Mike ate. Jill met with Sarah. Jill met Sarah. Part two consists of a series of verb classes, in each of which the members have some semantic commonality, and together observe certain alternations and properties.

The idea is to minimize the cognitive load required by the lexicon. Rather than knowing, for instance, that "flinch" does not allow an object NP, and therefore does not participate in causative alternations, nor allow a cognate or a reaction object, a speaker of English need only know that "flinch" is a flinch verb, as are "cower", "cringe", "recoil", "shrink", and "wince", and possibly "balk", and that the properties of flinch verbs in general is as given above for flinch verbs, p.

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Beth Levin's English Verbs Classes and Alternations

Please click on highlighted items to download, view abstract, or obtain additional information. Handouts and slides for downloading are available here. Unpublished manuscripts: Levin, B. Revised; 33 pages, pdf Levin, B. This paper needs to be updated so that it uses the ideas in Rappaport Hovav and Levin to give a better grounding to identifying manner and result verbs; 39 pages, pdf Rappaport Hovav, M. McNally and Z.

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English Verb Classes and Alternations : A Preliminary Investigation

Aggiungi ad una collezione Tell a friend In this rich reference work, Beth Levin classifies over 3, English verbs according to shared meaning and behavior. She shows how identifying verbs with similar syntactic behavior provides an effective means of distinguishing semantically coherent verb classes, and isolates these classes by examining verb behavior with respect to a wide range of syntactic alternations that reflect verb meaning. The first part of the book sets out alternate ways in which verbs can express their arguments. The second presents classes of verbs that share a kernel of meaning and explores in detail the behavior of each class, drawing on the alternations in the first part. The result is an original, systematic picture of the organization of the verb inventory.

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She shows how identifying verbs with similar syntactic behavior provides an effective means of di She shows how identifying verbs with similar syntactic behavior provides an effective means of distinguishing semantically coherent verb classes, and isolates these classes by examining verb behavior with respect to a wide range of syntactic alternations that reflect verb meaning. The first part of the book sets out alternate ways in which verbs can express their arguments. The second presents classes of verbs that share a kernel of meaning and explores in detail the behavior of each class, drawing on the alternations in the first part.

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