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25 Remote Warehouse Reference- Grammar and Style

English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation


English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this rich reference work, Beth Levin classifies over 3,000 English verbs according to shared meaning and behavior. Levin starts with the hypothesis that a verb's meaning influences its syntactic behavior and develops it into a powerful tool for studying the English verb lexicon. She shows how identifying verbs with similar syntactic behavior provides an effective means of distinguishing semantically coherent verb classes, and isolates these classes by examining verb behavior with respect to a wide range of syntactic alternations that reflect verb meaning.

The first part of the book sets out alternate ways in which verbs can express their arguments. The second presents classes of verbs that share a kernel of meaning and explores in detail the behavior of each class, drawing on the alternations in the first part. Levin's discussion of each class and alternation includes lists of relevant verbs, illustrative examples, comments on noteworthy properties, and bibliographic references. The result is an original, systematic picture of the organization of the verb inventory.

Easy to use, English Verb Classes and Alternations sets the stage for further explorations of the interface between lexical semantics and syntax. It will prove indispensable for theoretical and computational linguists, psycholinguists, cognitive scientists, lexicographers, and teachers of English as a second language.


Includes bibliographical references (p. [277]-312) and index.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Theoretical Perspective

The Layout of the Book

Part One: Alternations

Transitivity Alternations

1.1. Object of Transitive = Subject of Intransitive Alternations

1.1.1. Middle Alternation

1.1.2. Causative Alternations Causative/Inchoative Alternation Induced Action Alternation Other Instances of Causative Alternations

1.1.3. Substance/Source Alternation

1.2. Unexpressed Object Alternations

1.2.1. Unspecified Object Alternation

1.2.2. Understood Body-Part Object Alternation

1.2.3. Understood Reflexive Object Alternation

1.2.4. Understood Reciprocal Object Alternation

1.2.5. PRO-arb Object Alternation

1.2.6. Characteristic Property Alternations Characteristic Property of Agent Alternation Characteristic Property of Instrument Alternation

1.2.7. Way Object Alternation

1.2.8. Instructional Imperative

1.3. Conative Alternation

1.4. Preposition Drop Alternations

1.4.1. Locative Preposition Drop Alternation

1.4.2. With Proposition Drop Alternation

2. Alternations Involving Arguments Within the VP

2.1. Dative Alternation

2.2. Benefactive Alternation

2.3. Locative Alternation

2.3.1. Spray/Load Alternation

2.3.2. Clear Alternation (transitive)

2.3.3. Wipe Alternation

2.3.4. Swarm Alternation

2.3.5. Clear Alternation (intransitive)

2.4. Creation and Transformation Alternations

2.4.1. Material/Product Alternation (transitive)

2.4.2. Material/Product Alternation (intransitive)

2.4.3. Total Transformation Alternation (transitive)

2.4.4. Total Transformation Alternation (intransitive)

2.5. Reciprocal Alternations

2.5.1. Simple Reciprocal Alternation (transitive)

2.5.2. Together Reciprocal Alternation (transitive)
2.5.3. Apart Reciprocal Alternation (transitive)
2.5.4. Simple Reciprocal Alternation (intransitive)
2.5.5. Together Reciprocal Alternation (intransitive)
2.5.6. Apart Reciprocal Alternation (intransitive)

2.6. Fulfilling Alternation

2.7. Image Impression Alternation

2.8. With/Against Alternation

2.9. Through/With Alternation

2.10. Blame Alternation

2.11. Search Alternations

2.12. Body-Part Possessor Ascension Alternation

2.13. Possessor-Attribute Factoring Alternations

2.13.1. Possessor Object

2.13.2. Attribute Object

2.13.3. Possessor and Attribute Alternation

2.13.4. Possessor Subject (transitive)

2.13.5. Possessor Subject (intransitive)
2.14. As Alternation

3. "Oblique" Subject Alternations

3.1. Time Subject Alternation

3.2. Natural Force Subject Alternation

3.3. Instrument Subject Alternation

3.4. Abstract Cause Subject Alternation

3.5. Locatum Subject Alternation

3.6. Local Subject Alternation

3.7. Container Subject Alternation

3.8. Raw Material Subject Alternation

3.9. Sum of Money Subject Alternation

3.10. Source Subject Alternation

4. Reflexive Diathesis Alternations

4.1. Virtual Reflexive Alternation

4.2. Reflexive of Appearance Alternation

5. Passive

5.1. Verbal Passive

5.2. Prepositional Passive

5.3. Adjectival Passive (transitive verbs)

5.4. Adjectival Perfect Participles (intransitive verbs)

6. Alternations Involving Postverbal "Subjects"

6.1. There-Insertion

6.2. Locative Inversion

7. Other Constructions

7.1. Cognate Object Construction

7.2. Cognate Prepositional Phrase Construction

7.3. Reaction Object Construction

7.4. X's Way Construction

7.5. Resultative Construction

7.6. Unintentional Interpretation of Object

7.6.1. Unintentional Interpretation with Reflexive Object

7.6.2. Unintentional Interpretation with Body-Part Object

7.7. Bound Nonreflexive Anaphor as Prepositional Object

7.8. Directional Phrases with Nondirected Motion Verbs

8. Verbs Requiring Special Diatheses

8.1. Obligatory Passive

8.2. Obligatory Reflexive Object

8.3. Inalienably Possessed Body-Part Object

8.4. Expletive It Object

8.5. Obligatory Adverb

8.6. Obligatory Negative Polarity Element

Part Two: Verb Classes

9. Verbs of Putting

9.1. Put Verbs

9.2. Verbs of Putting in a Spatial Configuration

9.3. Funnel Verbs

9.4. Verbs of Putting with a Specified Direction

9.5. Pour Verbs

9.6. Coil Verbs

9.7. Spray/Load Verbs

9.8. Fill Verbs

9.9. Butter Verbs

9.10. Pocket Verbs

10. Verbs of Removing

10.1. Remove Verbs

10.2. Banish Verbs

10.3. Clear Verbs

10.4. Wipe Verbs

10.4.1. Manner Subclass

10.4.2. Instrument Subclass

10.5. Verbs of Possessional Deprivation: Steal Verbs

10.6. Verbs of Possessional Deprivation: Cheat Verbs

10.7. Pit Verbs

10.8. Debone Verbs

10.9. Mine Verbs

11. Verbs of Sending and Carrying

11.1. Send Verbs

11.2. Slide Verbs

11.3. Bring and Take

11.4. Carry Verbs

11.5. Drive Verbs

12. Verbs of Exerting Force: Push/Pull Verbs

13. Verbs of Change of Possession

13.1. Give Verbs

13.2. Contribute Verbs

13.3. Verbs of Future Having

13.4. Verbs of Providing

13.4.1. Verbs of Fulfilling

13.4.2. Equip Verbs

13.5. Verbs of Obtaining

13.5.1. Get Verbs

13.5.2. Obtain Verbs

13.6. Verbs of Exchange

13.7. Berry Verbs

14. Learn Verbs

15. Hold and Keep Verbs

15.1. Hold Verbs

15.2. Keep Verbs

16. Verbs of Concealment

17. Verbs of Throwing

17.1. Throw Verbs

17.2. Pelt Verbs

18. Verbs of Contact by Impact

18.1. Hit Verbs

18.2. Swat Verbs

18.3. Spank Verbs

18.4. Non-Agentive Verbs of Contact by Impact

19. Poke Verbs

20. Verbs of Contact: Touch Verbs

21. Verbs of Cutting

21.1. Cut Verbs

21.2. Carve Verbs

22. Verbs of Combining and Attaching

22.1. Mix Verbs

22.2. Amalgamate Verbs

22.3. Shake Verbs

22.4. Tape Verbs

22.5. Cling Verbs

23. Verbs of Separating and Disassembling

23.1. Separate Verbs

23.2. Split Verbs

23.3. Disassemble Verbs

23.4. Differ Verbs

24. Verbs of Coloring

25. Image Creation Verbs

25.1. Verbs of Image Impression

25.2. Scribble Verbs

25.3. Illustrate Verbs

25.4. Transcribe Verbs

26. Verbs of Creation and Transformation

26.1. Build Verbs

26.2. Grow Verbs

26.3. Verbs of Preparing

26.4. Create Verbs

26.5. Knead Verbs

26.6. Turn Verbs

26.7. Performance Verbs

27. Engender Verbs

28. Calve Verbs

29. Verbs with Predicative Complements

29.1. Appoint Verbs

29.2. Characterize Verbs

29.3. Dub Verbs

29.4. Declare Verbs

29.5. Conjecture Verbs

29.6. Masquerade Verbs

29.7. Orphan Verbs

29.8. Captain Verbs

30. Verbs of Perception

30.1. See Verbs

30.2. Sight Verbs

30.3. Peer Verbs

30.4. Stimulus Subject Perception Verbs

31. Psych-Verbs (Verbs of Psychological State)

31.1. Amuse Verbs

31.2. Admire Verbs

31.3. Marvel Verbs

31.4. Appeal Verbs

32. Verbs of Desire

32.1. Want Verbs

32.2. Long Verbs

33. Judgment Verbs

34. Verbs of Assessment

35. Verbs of Searching

35.1. Hunt Verbs

35.2. Search Verbs

35.3. Stalk Verbs

35.4. Investigate Verbs

35.5. Rummage Verbs

35.6. Ferret Verbs

36. Verbs of Social Interaction

36.1. Correspond Verbs

36.2. Marry Verbs

36.3. Meet Verbs

37. Verbs of Communication

37.1. Verbs of Transfer of a Message

37.2. Tell

37.3. Verbs of Manner of Speaking

37.4. Verbs of Instrument of Communication

37.5. Talk Verbs

37.6. Chitchat Verbs

37.7. Say Verbs

37.8. Complain Verbs

37.9. Advise Verbs

38. Verbs of Sounds Made by Animals

39. Verbs of Ingesting

39.1. Eat Verbs

39.2. Chew Verbs

39.3. Gobble Verbs

39.4. Devour Verbs

39.5. Dine Verbs

39.6. Gorge Verbs

39.7. Verbs of Feeding

40. Verbs Involving the Body

40.1. Verbs of Bodily Processes

40.1.1. Hiccup Verbs

40.1.2. Breathe Verbs

40.1.3. Exhale Verbs

40.2. Verbs of Nonverbal Expression

40.3. Verbs of Gestures/Signs Involving Body Parts

40.3.1. Wink Verbs

40.3.2. Crane Verbs

40.3.3. Curtsey Verbs

40.4. Snooze Verbs

40.5. Flinch Verbs

40.6. Verbs of Body-Internal States of Existence

40.7. Suffocate Verbs

40.8. Verbs of Bodily State and Damage to the Body

40.8.1. Pain Verbs

40.8.2. Tingle Verbs

40.8.3. Hurt Verbs

40.8.4. Verbs of Change of Bodily State

41. Verbs of Grooming and Bodily Care

41.1. Verbs of Caring for the Whole Body

41.1.1. Dress Verbs

41.1.2. Groom Verbs

41.2. Verbs of Caring for a Specific Body Part

41.2.1. Floss Verbs

41.2.2. Braid Verbs

41.3. Verbs of Dressing

41.3.1. Simple Verbs of Dressing

41.3.2. Verbs of Dressing Well

41.3.3. Verbs of Being Dressed

42. Verbs of Killing

42.1. Murder Verbs

42.2. Poison Verbs

43. Verbs of Emission

43.1. Verbs of Light Emission

43.2. Verbs of Sound Emission

43.3. Verbs of Smell Emission

43.4. Verbs of Substance Emission

44. Destroy Verbs

45. Verbs of Change of State

45.1. Break Verbs

45.2. Bend Verbs

45.3. Cooking Verbs

45.4. Other Alternating Verbs of Change of State

45.5. Verbs of Entity-Specific Change of State

45.6. Verbs of Calibratable Changes of State

46. Lodge Verbs

47. Verbs of Existence

47.1. Exist Verbs

47.2. Verbs of Entity-Specific Modes of Being

47.3. Verbs of Modes of Being Involving Motion

47.4. Verbs of Sound Existence

47.5. Verbs of Group Existence

47.5.1. Swarm Verbs

47.5.2. Herd Verbs

47.5.3. Bulge Verbs

47.6. Verbs of Spatial Configuration

47.7. Meander Verbs

47.8. Verbs of Contiguous Location

48. Verbs of Appearance, Disappearance, and Occurrence

48.1. Verbs of Appearance

48.1.1. Appear Verbs

48.1.2. Reflexive Verbs of Appearance

48.2. Verbs of Disappearance

48.3. Verbs of Occurrence

49. Verbs of Body-Internal Motion

50. Verbs of Assuming a Position

51. Verbs of Motion

51.1. Verbs of Inherently Directed Motion

51.2. Leave Verbs

51.3. Manner of Motion Verbs

51.3.1. Roll Verbs

51.3.2. Run Verbs

51.4. Verbs of Motion Using a Vehicle

51.4.1. Verbs That Are Vehicle Names

51.4.2. Verbs That Are Not Vehicle Names

51.5. Waltz Verbs

51.6. Chase Verbs

51.7. Accompany Verbs

52. Avoid Verbs

53. Verbs of Lingering and Rushing

53.1. Verbs of Lingering

53.2. Verbs of Rushing

54. Measure Verbs

54.1. Register Verbs

54.2. Cost Verbs

54.3. Fit Verbs

54.4. Price Verbs

54.5. Bill Verbs

55. Aspectual Verbs

55.1. Begin Verbs

55.2. Complete Verbs

56. Weekend Verbs

57. Weather Verbs


Verb Index


Verb Index

Product Details

Levin, Beth
University of Chicago Press
Chicago :
English language
English language -- Verb.
Grammar & Punctuation
Reference-Grammar and Style
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. 2
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 x 6 in

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