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ERIC Number: EJ873333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
Remarks on Causative Verbs and Object Deletion in English
Onozuka, Hiromi
Language Sciences, v29 n4 p538-553 Jul 2007
Rappaport Hovav and Levin [Rappaport Hovav, M., Levin, B., 1998. "Building verb meanings." In: Butt, M., Geuder, W. (Eds.), "The Projection of Arguments: Lexical and Compositional Factors." CSLI Publications, Stanford, pp. 97-134] contend that result verbs disallow object deletion because of their lexical semantic properties. Their point is that the distinction between result verbs and manner verbs with their different event structure representation constitutes the important factor, which dictates the possibility of the variation of argument realization, of which object deletion represents one instance. Responding to their claim, Goldberg [Goldberg, A.E., 2001. "Patient arguments of causative verbs can be omitted: the role of information structure in argument distribution." "Language Sciences" 23, 503-524] presents the evidence which mainly concerns the object deletion of causative verbs (which correspond to result verbs) in English in order to show that the distinction is not substantial. The purpose of this paper is twofold. One is to present several pieces of evidence for Goldberg's contention based on the behavior of causative verbs with respect to object deletion. It is made evident that at least some causative verbs in fact behave even freer than Goldberg's principle predicts. The other purpose is to examine some aspects of Goldberg's principle and demonstrate that it has a wider applicability than originally intended, which eventually indicates that the principle comprises a part of a general set of conditions on the object deletion in English. The conclusion is that object deletion is not so much sensitive to the distinction between causative verbs and non-causative verbs as Rappaport Hovav and Levin claim it to be, and therefore object deletion fails to be a good diagnostic tool for the differentiation of the two verb classes. In other words, causativity is not a good parameter for the possibility of object deletion.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A