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ERIC Number: EJ857799
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
Verb Disposition in Argument Structure Alternations: A Corpus Study of the Dative Alternation in Dutch
Colleman, Timothy
Language Sciences, v31 n5 p593-611 Sep 2009
Semantic accounts of verb pattern alternations often rely on observations about "verb disposition": the preference of verbs with particular lexical semantic characteristics for one of two competing constructions is taken as a clue to the semantic differences between the two constructions. For instance, it has been observed with regard to the English dative alternation that verbs of refusal such as "deny" and "refuse" are perfectly acceptable in the ditransitive construction but much less so in the so-called prepositional dative construction with "to" (compare "They refused the convict a last cigarette" with? "They refused a last cigarette to the convict"); and this contrast has been presented as evidence for the hypothesis that the prepositional dative highlights the "actual movement" of the theme toward the receiver (e.g. [Goldberg, A.E., 1992. "The inherent semantics of argument structure: the case of the English ditransitive." "Cognitive Linguistics" 3, 37-74]). This paper discusses the merit of verb disposition as evidence for semantic hypotheses about alternating constructions and presents the results of a corpus-based study of verb disposition in the Dutch dative alternation. On the basis of [Gries, S., Stefanowitsch, A., 2004. "Extending Collostructional Analysis: a corpus-based perspective on alternations." "International Journal of Corpus Linguistics" 9, 97-129] method of "distinctive collexeme analysis", the alternating verbs with a statistically significant preference for the Dutch ditransitive are separated from those with a statistically significant preference for the prepositional dative in a corpus of contemporary Dutch newspaper language. The results of this test provide the basis for a number of empirically valid generalizations about the semantic parameters driving the dative alternation. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A