Explicating the English lexicon of 'doing and happening'
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This study proposes NSM semantic explications for a cross-section of the English verbal lexicon of "doing" and "happening". The 30 verbs are drawn from about a dozen verb classes, including verbs for non-typical locomotion (crawl, swim, fly), other intransitive activities (play, sing), manipulation (hold, pick up), activities that affect material integrity (cut, grind, dig), creation/production (make, build, carve), actions that affect people or things (hit, kick, kill) or cause change of location (put, throw, push, pull, bring, take), bodily reactions (laugh, cry, cough, blink), displacement (fall, sink) and weather phenomena (rain, snow). Though the verbs explicated are specifically English verbs, they have been chosen with an eye to their relevance to lexical typology and cross-linguistic semantics (many are drawn from the Verb Meanings List of the Leipzig Valency Classes Project) and it is hoped that the analytical strategy and methodology exemplified in this study can be a useful model for researchers in other languages. The study illustrates how semantic templates, as used in the NSM approach, can account for shared semantic and grammatical properties of verbs of a given subclass, while providing a clear "skeletal" structure for explications of considerable internal complexity. A number of generalisations emerge about inter-connections between different sections, e.g. Lexicosyntactic Frame, Prototypical Scenario, Manner, Potential Outcome, of the explications, depending on the kind of verb involved.
Functions of Language
© 2015 John Benjamins Publishing Co. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Linguistic Structures (incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)