Regardless of such details, the subject shares the crucial property of being selected by the head with other complements, and thus can be seen at least as a special kind of complement. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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- Verb valency an attempt at conceptual clarification.
Breindl, E. Brinton, L. Chomsky, N.
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Korhonen, J. Lehmann, C. Wischer and G. Lerot, J. Abraham ed. Michaelis, L. Cognitive Linguistics , 15 1 : 1— Theoretical Linguistics , 40 1—2 : 1— Napoli, D. We definitely need more discussion of the issue of how to define arguments cross-linguistically, so the jury is still out, but it may be that no good cross-linguistic definition of arguments and adjuncts as syntactic elements that largely coincides with our intuitions will be possible.
Fortunately, it turns out that it is possible to compare important aspects of participant expression across languages without using a well-defined notion of argument.
Even though in Hartmann et al. Agents and locations are expressed very uniformly across languages, and we neither expected nor found anything particularly surprising in the ValPaL database with respect to their expression. Likewise, instruments tend to behave quite uniformly. So it is precisely those kinds of partcipants whose status as arguments is the most contentious locations, instruments, passive agents that are expressed in the least variable way.
In practice, we proceeded as follows: We gave the language experts that filled in our questionnaire a list of verb meanings, each with a set of possible or likely roles, described by means of English labels and role frames, as well as English example sentences, as in But the results were not particularly consistent, and we realized that in general, the authors of ValPaL did not seem to have good independent reasons for including a participant or leaving it out.
In many cases, they seem to have simply followed our role frames and included all those participants in the valency frame that we included in the role frame. However, for our goal of capturing salient differences between languages, this did not matter much, because the salient differences concern the participants with theme, patient, experiencer and stimulus roles and the like , and these are always included in the role frames. There are two primary ways in which argument coding can be compared readily on the basis of ValPaL data.
In Hartmann et al. Again, these are very interesting and relevant results, but they do not depend crucially on a distinction between arguments and adjuncts at a cross-linguistic level, let alone at a language-particular level. According to Jacobs, the original valency concept really consists of seven different though not unrelated concepts: obligatoriness, involvement, semantic necessity, exocentricity, formal specificity, selectional restrictions, and associatedness.
And perhaps this is all we need. If we were able to identify arguments and adjuncts in a clear and unambiguous and intuitively satisfying way across languages, we would be able to ask further questions, e. We cannot ask such questions with our current data, but maybe there is no great loss.
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Thomas Herbst, English Valency Structures - A first sketch
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Helbig, Gerhard and Wolfgang Schenkel. Leipzig: Bibliographisches Institut. Jacobs, Joachim. Kontra Valenz. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. Kay, Paul. Argument structure constructions and the argument-adjunct distinction. Grammatical constructions: Back to the roots, ed. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport Hovav.