English Verb Classes and Alternations

A Preliminary Investigation

Beth Levin

English Verb Classes and Alternations
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A Verb Index for use with the book.

Beth Levin

366 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1993
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226475332 Published September 1993
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.
Contents
Preface
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
1.1.2.1. Causative/Inchoative Alternation
1.1.2.2. Induced Action Alternation
1.1.2.3. 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
1.2.6.1. Characteristic Property of Agent Alternation
1.2.6.2. 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
References
Verb Index
References
Verb Index

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