Book

The Event Structure of Perception Verbs

Nikolas Gisborne

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577798
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722417 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577798.001.0001

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

The Event Structure of Perception Verbs

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Perception verbs – such as look, see, taste, hear, feel, sound, listen, and observe – present unresolved problems for linguistic theories. This book examines the predictability of relations between their semantics and syntactic behaviour, the different kinds of polysemy they exhibit, and the role of evidentiality in verbs like seem and appear. After an opening chapter explaining the nature of the issues, there is a concise introduction to Word Grammar. Chapter 3 considers the implications of the approach for a general theory of event structure, and looks at how Word Grammar can be applied to causation, argument linking, and the modelling of polysemy. Chapter 4 explores the polysemy of see; chapter 5 looks at relations between verbs of active perception like listen, and verbs of involuntary perception such as hear; chapter 6 explores the semantics of non‐finite predicative complementation; and chapter 7 discusses verbs of appearance. Chapter 8 presents some conclusions.

Keywords: perception verbs; event structure; evidentiality; causation; infinitival complementation; thematic roles; force dynamics; argument linking; word grammar; polysemy

Book.  336 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Semantics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Event Structure of Perception Verbs

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Word Grammar in The Event Structure of Perception Verbs

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Non‐Finite Complementation in The Event Structure of Perception Verbs

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8 8 Conclusion in The Event Structure of Perception Verbs

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