8. An antipassive interpretation of the English “conative alternation”: Semantic and discourse-pragmatic dimensions
Morphosyntactic Alternations in English - Functional and Cognitive Perspectives - Pilar Guerrero Medina
Pilar Guerrero Medina [+]
University of Córdoba
In this chapter Pilar Guerrero Medina aims to explore the connection between the English conative construction and what is regarded as an “antipassive” in the functional-typological literature, drawing on corpus data with a sample of verbs from Levin’s (1993) semantic classes of Contact by Impact, Breaking, Cutting and Ingesting. It is here argued that a constructionist approach of the English conative alternation along the lines of Goldberg (1995) is in principle superior to a lexicallybased one. However, in the author’s view, the Goldbergian approach still provides an incomplete picture of the problem, and she furthers claims that the semantic and discourse-pragmatic properties of the conative construction would be better captured under Cooreman’s (1994) definition of the antipassive.