Chapter

Phrase Structure and Verb Classes

D. Gary Miller

in Language Change and Linguistic Theory, Volume II

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583430
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595288 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583430.003.0007
Phrase Structure and Verb Classes

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This chapter introduces the theoretical points and verb classes presupposed in other chapters. It can be ignored by those familiar with generative theory. Lexical and functional structure are discussed, along with movement and the roles of νP. The problem of Cause and Voice is addressed in connection with the derivation of the ergative (causative : anticausative) alternation. Tests for the unergative vs unaccusative contrast are introduced and distinguished from structures like passive, middle, and impersonal. Formal derivations are offered for the ergative alternation and for passive and middle structures.

Keywords: lexical structure; functional structure; Cause and Voice; ergative alternation; generative theory

Chapter.  7645 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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