Semantic Constraints on the English Locative Constructions

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Kim, Seon
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Seoul National University Department of English Language and Literature
SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics 1, 45-61.
locative constructionthemelocationspecificationalternation
English locative verbs which have a theme and a location argument show three different patterns in selecting their internal arguments: some allow either of them to be realized as the direct object, while others only one of them. This paper investigates what semantic factor is relevant to the selection of the direct object in the locative construction. I propose the notion of "specification," which is defined as the "description of a specific manner of a motion or a change denoted by a verb." I argue that only the entity which is directly involved in the specification of a verb can be realized as the direct object. In other words, a verb selects as its direct obejct the entity on which a manner of its motion or change is specified. Some verbs can specify their manner either on the theme or on the location argument, which leads to the locative alternation.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU working papers in English language and linguisticsSNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.01 (2002)
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