Functional Constraints in Grammar: On the unergative unaccusative distinction
This book examines in detail the acceptability status of sentences in the following five English constructions, and elucidates the syntactic, semantic, and functional requirements that the constructions must satisfy in order to be appropriately used: There-Construction, (One s) Way Construction, Cognate Object Construction, Pseudo-Passive Construction, and Extraposition from Subject NPs. It has been argued in the frameworks of Chomskyan generative grammar, relational grammar, conceptual semantics and other syntactic theories that the acceptability of sentences in these constructions can be accounted for by the unergative unaccusative distinction of intransitive verbs. However, this book shows through a wide range of sentences that none of these constructions is sensitive to this distinction. For each construction, it shows that acceptability status is determined by a given sentence's semantic function as it interacts with syntactic constraints (which are independent of the unergative unaccusative distinction), and with functional constraints that apply to it in its discourse context.
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The series Constructional Approaches to Language
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acceptability results acceptability status apple Mary argued assign accusative assumed Babe Ruth Bruce Davison Burzio Chapter characterization claim cognate object construction Constraint in 45 Construction Grammar contrast D-structure danced deﬁnite denoting existence derived describe difﬁculty direct object ergative ergative verbs existence or appearance extraposed Extraposition from Subject fact ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂoor following examples following sentences Functional Constraint Goldberg grin grizzly bear inside verbal interpretation intransitive Iohn Kuno laughed Levin and Rappaport logical subject Mary nonvolitional events nouns object NP Observe the following ofthe one’s passive sentences Perlmutter 1978 Perlmutter and Postal predicts preposition Pseudo-Passive Construction pseudo-passive sentences Rappaport Hovav 1995 Relational Grammar satisﬁes screamed Section sentence results sentences involving shown smile speaker speciﬁer position subject NP subject position surface subject syntactic Takami there-construction there-sentences transitive verbs Unaccusative Restriction unaccusative verbs unergative and unaccusative Unergative Restriction unergative verbs unergative—unaccusative distinction unusual manner verbs can appear volitional actions