An analysis of strong verb classes

Old English class 3 strong verbs: Verbs where the ablaut vowel was followed by a consonant cluster in Proto-Indo-European. Old English class 4 strong verbs:

An analysis of strong verb classes

Get book, buy, call, cash, order, phone, In this example, the difficulty of defining the semantics of a class is evident, e. Note also the Get class is very large and contains very diverse verbs.

Domain descriptions family, education, law, etc. About the underlying semantics of alternations It is of much interest to analyze in depth the set of verbs which undergo an alternation.

It is also interesting to analyze exceptions, i. Besides the theoretical interest, the underlying semantics conveyed by syntactic construction plays an important role in semantic composition and in the formation of lexicalization patterns 2. There is, first, a principle of non-synonymy of grammatical forms: We have, for example, the following syntactic forms with their associated Lexical Semantic Template Goldberg Let us now consider several examples.

About the identification of relevant meaning components The problem addressed here is the identification in verbs of those meaning components which determine whether a verb does or does not undergo a certain alternation.

But the conative alternation applies to much narrower sets of verbs than those whose actions could be just attempted and not realized.

An analysis of strong verb classes

For example, verbs of cutting and verbs of hitting all undergo the alternation, but verbs of touching and verbs of breaking do not. It turns out, in fact, that verbs participating in the conative construction describe a certain type of motion and a certain type of contact.

Here verbs of breaking do not participate in that alternation whereas verbs of hitting and touching do.

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Finally, the Middle alternation, which specifies the ease with which an action can be performed on a theme, is accepted only by verbs that entail a real effect, regardless of whether they involve motion or contact.

Therefore, verbs of breaking and of cutting undergo this alternation whereas verbs of touching do not. As can be seen from these examples, a common set of elements of meaning can be defined for a set of alternations, such as motion, contact and effect, which contributes to differentiating the semantics conveyed by alternations, and therefore to characterizing quite precisely verbs which potentially undergo an alternation or not.

Therefore, membership of a verb in a class depends on some aspects of meaning that the semantic representation of the verb constrains.

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These aspects may moreover be surprisingly subtle and refined, and difficult to identify and to describe in a formal system. These observations reinforce the arguments in favor of a certain autonomy of lexical semantics.

The dative alternation The dative alternation applies to a number of verbs of transfer of possession, but the semantic components which account for the difference between verbs which do accept it and those which do not are very subtle. However, as noted by [ Pin89 ], while the class of verb of instantaneous imparting of force causing a ballistic motion throw, flip, slap allow the dative alternation, the verbs of continuous imparting of force in some manner causing accompanied motion do not pull, push, lift.

Similarly, verbs where "X commits himself that Y will get Z in the future" allow the dative alternation offer, promise, allocate, allot, assign. There are also verb classes which accept either one or the other form of the dative alternation with or without the preposition to.

This is opposed to the actor acting on an object so that it causes it to go to someone. For example, in verbs like push, the actor does not have in mind a priori the destination, but just the object being pushed. The location alternations The location alternations a family of alternation which involve a permutation of object1 and object2 and a preposition change are also of much interest.

Participation in certain of these alternations allows one to predict the type of motion and the nature of the end state. Verbs which focus only either on the motion e.

Analytical Verbs | Burlington High School English Department

Verbs that alternate constrain in some manner both motion and end state. Let us now specify in more depth these constraints, since in fact quite a few verbs do alternate. Their general form is: These verbs naturally take the theme as object e.

For these two types of constructions, only a very few verbs strictly require the presence of the two objects. Those which do not alternate have for example one of the following properties: As can be seen here, the properties at stake are very precise and their identification is not totally trivial, especially for verbs which can be used in a variety of utterances, with some slight meaning variations.

These properties are derived from the observation of syntactic behaviors.

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While some properties seem to have a clear ontological status, others seem to be much more difficult to characterize. They seem to be a conglomeration of some form of more basic properties.

Semantics of the verb and semantics of the construction Let us now consider the combination of a verb, with its own semantics, within a syntactic construction.The purpose of this page is to provide resources in the rapidly growing area of computer-based statistical data analysis.

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Strong verbs enhance written and spoken communication. Answer the practice questions in this interactive quiz and worksheet to check your understanding of how to select strong verbs that will do.

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There are three classes of weak verbs, and seven classes of strong verbs; in addition there are six classes of preterite-present verbs, based on strong verb classes in the present tense but incorporating weak verb suffixes in the preterite. These verb classes will be detailed in this and successive lessons.

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