Argument Structure Constructions versus Lexical Rules or Derivational Verb Templates

Mind and Language 28 (4):435-465 (2013)
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The idea that correspondences relating grammatical relations and semantics are needed to account for simple sentence types is reviewed, clarified, updated and compared with two lexicalist alternatives. Traditional lexical rules take one verb as ‘input’ and create a different verb as ‘output’. More recently, invisible derivational verb templates have been proposed, which treat argument structure patterns as zero derivational affixes that combine with a root verb to yield a new verb. While the derivational template perspective can address several problems that arise for traditional lexical rules, it still faces problems in accounting for idioms, which often contain specifications that are not appropriately assigned to individual verbs or derivational affixes. At the same time, it is clear that verbs play a central role in determining their distribution. The balance between verbs and phrasal argument structure constructions is addressed via the Principles of Semantic Coherence and Correspondence together with a usage‐based hierarchy of constructions that contains entries which can include particular verbs and other lexical material.



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Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.John Lyons - 1966 - Philosophical Quarterly 16 (65):393-395.
Semantics and Cognition.R. Jackendoff - 1985 - Linguistics and Philosophy 8 (4):505-519.

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