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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acceptability results acceptability status adverbial apple Mary argued assign accusative assumed Babe Ruth blush Bruce Davison Burzio by-phrase Chapter Chomsky claim cognate object construction Constraint in 45 Construction Grammar D-structure danced denoting existence derived describe direct object discussion ergative ergative verbs existence or appearance extraposed Extraposition from Subject f/iere-construction f/iere-sentences fact following examples following sentences Functional Constraint Goldberg grin grizzly bear inside verbal interpretation intransitive Jackendoff John jumped Kuno laughed Levin and Rappaport logical subject manner of movement Mary nonvolitional events nouns object NP Observe the following passive sentences Perlmutter and Postal predicts preposition Pseudo-Passive Construction pseudo-passive sentences Rappaport Hovav 1995 Relational Grammar satisfy the Functional screamed Section sentence results sentences involving shown smile speaker specifier position subject NP subject position surface subject syntactic Takami transitive verbs Unaccusative Restriction unaccusative verbs unergative and unaccusative Unergative Restriction unergative verbs unergative-unaccusative distinction unusual manner verbs can appear volitional actions