7. The semantics of English middles and pseudo-middles
Morphosyntactic Alternations in English - Functional and Cognitive Perspectives - Pilar Guerrero Medina
Casilda García de la Maza
University of Basque Country
This chapter by Casilda García de la Maza focuses on the semantics of English middles and “pseudo-middles” (e.g. The subsequent article almost writes itself/This new sofa seats four). The English middle is characterized as having a clear constructional meaning, which can be seen as a compositional function of the meaning of the subject in combination with the verb and the adverb. The author highlights the lexicalization process that some middles are undergoing, which is indicative of the semantic idiosyncrasy of the construction.