9. A frame-semantic approach to syntactic alternations: The case of build verbs
Morphosyntactic Alternations in English - Functional and Cognitive Perspectives - Pilar Guerrero Medina
Hans C. Boas
University of Texas
This chapter by Hans Boas offers an alternative frame-semantic approach to the various syntactic alternations which Levin (1993) claims to occur with her class of build verbs. The author shows that not all members of this class exhibit identical alternating behaviour, arguing (as is also the case in Neale’s article in Part I of this volume) that Levin’s definitions of verb classes are too coarse-grained. It is then claimed that differences in syntactic behaviour are best accounted for in terms of the different polysemy networks of senses associated with each verb. Adopting ideas from Fillmore’s (1982) Frame Semantics, Boas proposes that each sense of a verb is best characterized by referencing the semantic frame(s) that it evokes.