Semantic Apparatus – Directed motion entailments in the semantics of roots: A root-sensitive approach

Cited by Lee Sonogan

Parameter sensitivity analysis of a root system architecture model based on  virtual field sampling | SpringerLink

Abstract by Josep AUSENSI, Ryan Walter SMITH Jianrong YU

Syntactic, decompositional theories of verb meaning hold that verbs are created inthe syntax by merging roots, which provide idiosyncratic information, with functional heads,which introduce structural components of meaning such as change or causation. In this paper,we examine the consequences of such a view for verbs of inherently directed motion likearrive,enter, ascend, descend, depart, leave, etc. (Levin, 1993; Rappaport Hovav, 2014). We show thatthis class of verbs does not show uniform behavior with respect to sub-lexical modification withmodifiers likeagainand durative temporal modifiers, which are well-established diagnostics fordecompositional theories of verb meaning (e.g., Dowty, 1979; von Stechow, 1996; Beck andJohnson, 2004). This suggests that a syntactic, decompositional view may be appropriate onlyfor some of these verbs, while others must contain all directed motion entailments within theirverb roots. We argue that a root-sensitive approach to lexical decomposition of this verb classis necessary in order to account for their distinct grammatical properties.

Publication: Universitat Pompeu Fabra ,University of Texas at El Paso The University of Arizona(Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: 2021 Doi: https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/927/851

Keywords: lexical semantics, verbs of inherently directed motion, roots, event structure, sub-lexical modification.

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