Cross-linguistic investigation of argument structure Lecture 3. Speakers’ intuitions Elisabeth Verhoeven

Réalisation : 18 septembre 2017 Mise en ligne : 18 septembre 2017
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Lecture 3. Speakers’ intuitions / Lundi 18 septembre – 16h à 18h – salle de Conférence, RDC bât. D

A crucial part of the relevant generalizations for argument structure is gained through fine-grained intuitions about thematic and event-structural properties of particular verbs, i.e. evidence that cannot be detected with preferences in speech production. In this lecture, we will discuss a cross-linguistic acceptability study that investigates agentivity and stativity as determinants of psych verb grammar in German, Greek, Turkish, Chinese and Yucatec Maya (Verhoeven 2010). Furthermore, by means of judgments of contextual felicity we will compare accusative fronting and dative fronting in German, Greek, Hungarian, and Korean (Temme & Verhoeven 2016). This study shows that the licensing conditions for arguments with the same morphological case differ across languages, which correlates with assumptions about the role of the case in the constituent structure of the languages at issue. Methodological issues: developing stimuli for cross-linguistic acceptability studies; control of lexicalizations and intervening grammatical factors.

Suggestions for Reading

Simík, R. & Wierzba, M. 2017. Expression of information structure in West Slavic: Modeling the impact of prosodic and word order factors. to appear in Language (

Temme, A., Verhoeven, E. 2016. Verb class, case, and order: A crosslinguistic experiment on non-nominative experiencers. Linguistics 54.4.

Verhoeven, E. 2010. Agentivity and stativity in experiencer verbs: Implications for a typology of verb classes. Linguistic Typology 14, 213-251.


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