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Class 7

Intransitive Predicates (last part) Intransitive verbs with prepositional objects Copular sentences

Verbs of emission
(i) reflexive: a se ivi, a se rtci, a se absorbi, a se art, a se rspndi, a se revrsa, a se propaga, a se trnti (ii) non-reflexive: a curge, a izvor, a transpira, a ni, a picura, a asuda, a exploda (verb list from Dragomirescu 2010) The verbs in this class may denote (i) simply emission or (ii) directed motion (Dragomirescu: 120). In both cases, they qualify as unaccusatives.

Verbs of emission
Emission only (1) a. Apa se infiltreaz n pereii casei i distruge tencuiala b. Rurile se revars i distrug culturile de pe mal. Directed motion (2) a. Dei inundaia s-a produs la etajul 5, apa se infiltreaz pn la parter. b. Rul se revars pn la oseaua din apropiere. (examples from Dragomirescu 2010)

Aspectual Predicates
(i) reflexive: a se declana, a se ncheia, a se repeta, a se termina (ii) reflexive / non-reflexive: a (se) continua, a (se) porni, a (se) sfri (iii) non- reflexive: a conteni, a ncepe, a nceta (verb list from Dragomirescu 2010) The verbs in this class may refer to (i) aspectual information, (ii) spatial configuration information. (Dragomirescu 2010)

Aspectual Predicates
Spatial configuration (3) a. Drumul asfaltat se continu cu o crare. b. Autostrada A2 se termin brusc Aspectual information (4)a. edina (se) continu pn la miezul nopii. b. Ion ncepe s scrie un roman. (examples from Dragomirescu 2010)

Prepositional intransitives
Intransitive verbs are usually one argument verbs, i.e. their unique argument is the external one, the subject.
However, there are intransitives that select for a prepositional object argument. In most cases, it is impossible to predict what would be the P that combines with the verb. Yet, other cases are more orderly.

Prepositional intransitives
AT This P is selected by a couple of classes of verbs, which include: (i) Verbs of looking: look, gaze, stare, peer, glance, glare, goggle, peek, peep, ogle (ii) Wink verbs: blink, nod, shrug, squint, wave, wink, wag (iii) Verbs denoting non-verbal expression: beam, cackle, chuckle, frown, gaze, gasp, giggle, grimace, jeer, pout, smile, whistle

Prepositional intransitives
(i)
(ii) (iii) WITH Swarm verbs: abound, crawl, run, swarm, teem, throng Reciprocal action verbs: agree, argue, banter, bargain, bicker, brawl, flirt, mingle, mix, negotiate, plot, quarrel, quibble, conflict, struggle, wrestle Amalgamate verbs: associate, compare, conjoin, consolidate, contrast, entangle, harmonize, integrate, interrelate, intertwine Verbs of communication: talk, speak, chat, converse, gab, gossip

(iv)

Prepositional intransitives
MIXED Ps Psych verbs also select prepositional objects, but these can be headed by diverse Ps such as: about (bother, care, fret, mind, rage, worry), at (cheer, cringe, exult, marvel, rage, rejoice, wonder), from (ache, suffer), for (care, cry, fear, feel, grieve, mourn, weep), in (bask, delight, glory, luxuriate, revel, wallow), of (approve, beware, despair, disapprove, tire, weary) and over (anguish, delight, gloat, gush, mope, puzzle, rave, seethe).

The structure of copulative predicates


Copulative predications are made up of a copula or a copula-like verb and a predicative. The typical copulative verb is to be (1), a verb that has little independent meaning of its own, i.e. it is semantically empty as opposed to existential be (2). (1) (2) James is quite arrogant. James is at Bills party now.

The role of the copula verb

In a copulative predication, the part played by the copula verb is to relate the subject to the predicative. In other words, the copula verb realizes agreement with the subject and it also carries information about tense and aspect.

Is copula be an auxiliary verb?

Be passes all the tests that auxiliary verbs pass: (i) it inverts with the subject in questions, (ii) it is negated by not, (iii) it occurs in codas and tag questions, (iv) it carries stress in emphatic affirmations

Is copula be an auxiliary verb?

(3)

a. b. c. d. e.

Is James at Bills party now? James is not at Bills party now. James is at Bills party and so is Sarah. James is at Bills party, isnt he? James IS at Bills party.

Copula-like verbs
Inchoative verbs such as to become and to grow, to go, to turn can be copula verbs when they have the meaning to develop/turn into, to turn out to be: (4) He became our most reliable employee. (5) The audience grew impatient and started to clap their hands. (6) He has grown quite cheeky lately. (7) The policeman turned rogue. (8) He has gone democrat and has betrayed the whole family tradition.

Copula-like verbs
Physical perception verbs: to look, to taste, to smell, to feel, to sound can occur as copula-like verbs as well. Most of them select for AP predicatives with the exception of to look. (9) Your suggestion doesnt sound interesting at all. (10) These Cuban cigars look a danger to health/Dont worry, he looks fine. (11) He felt clumsy because everybody was watching him. (12) These blue jeans feel too rough; I dont think Ill buy them.

Copula-like verbs
The verb to make, with the meaning to result in being, to develop into, is also used in copulative predications; in most cases its predicative is an indefinite NP: (13) This book will make a good read, buy it! (14) You have to work hard if you want to make a good doctor. (15) They made friends at first, but they betrayed each other in the end.

Copula-like verbs
To fall can be a copula-like verb when it acquires the meaning: to be unsuccesful, to reach a certain state. Its predicative is either an AP or a non-prepositional NP or a prepositional NP: (16) The speaker fell silent and looked at everybody. (17) Their clever plan has fallen flat. (18) The old man fell an easy prey to the swindler. (19) The high official has fallen into disgrace.

Copula-like verbs
To lie used in copulative predications has the meaning to be/remain in a certain state/position. Its predicative is, in most cases, an AP followed by a place adverbial (see (b), in which the predicative is a PP). (20) The equipment was lying idle because the workers were on strike. (21) The invading army was lying in wait at the gates of the city.

Copula-like verbs
To pass, with the meaning to be accepted/considered as, functions as a copula-like verb. The predicative it selects is either an NP or a prepositional NP.

(22) He passes an an experienced manager. (23) He speakes French so well that he passes for a native speaker.

Copula-like verbs
To stand, with the meaning to put oneself in a particular position, occurs in copulative predications: (24) Ivan stood guard at the Gates of Heaven. (25) The boy was released from prison after his relatives stood bail for him.

Are copula-like verbs auxiliary verbs?


Copula-like verbs do not pass the auxiliary tests: (26) a. b. c. d. e. Did James turn pale at the party? James didnt turn pale at the party. James turned pale and so did Sarah. James didnt turn pale, did he? James DID turn pale at the party.

The Predicative
The predicative in a copulative predication is an argument of the verb, just like the subject. The predicative can be realized by: NPs, PPs, APs, finite (that) clauses and non-finite clauses (gerundial, infinitival). (27) She is [AP very clumsy]. (28) That man is [NP my employee]. (29) They are [PP of my age], I think. In what follows, we will have a look at AP predicatives.

The classification of Adjectives


Adjectives are classified according to the position they occupy into (i) attributive adjectives (30) and (ii) predicative adjectives (31): Attributive (30) beautiful sky interesting conversation Predicative (31) The sky is beautiful tonight. The conversation was quite interesting.

The classification of Adjectives


Predicative adjectives may take internal arguments to which they assign a theta-role. Consider (32) (32) The man was aware of the danger. Copula be cannot give a theta-role to the subject of the sentence because it is a semantically bleached verb. The subject gets is theta-role from the predicative adjective aware. This implies that (32) looks like (33) at a deeper level than the surface one: (33) be [the man aware of the danger]

The classification of Adjectives


Predicative adjectives may select prepositional objects headed by prepositions such as: of, with, in, on, to. (34) aware of, capable of, fond of, heedless of, illustrative of, mindful of, representative of, bereft of, etc. (35) compatible with, consonant with, filled with, fraught with, parallel with, tinged with, riddled with

The classification of Adjectives


(36) lacking in, rooted in, swathed in (37) contingent on, dependent on, incumbent on, intent on, reliant on (38) answerable to, attributable to, connected to, due to, immune to, inclined to, insensible to, parallel to

The classification of Adjectives


Attributive adjectives do not assign theta-roles. Most adjectives may be used both attributively and predicatively. However, there are certain classes of adjectives that are used only in predicative / attributive contexts. In what follows, we will have a look at these classes.

Exclusively predicative Adjectives as predicatives


The exclusively predicative class includes adjectives that are confined to the post-nominal position such as: (i) Adverb-like adjectives ablaze, afloat, akin, ajar, alike, ashamed, askew, akimbo, awake, alone whose meaning is being in the stated condition/way: (39) a. The whole building was ablaze. b. The soldiers cap was slightly askew. c. The man was wide awake.

Exclusively predicative Adjectives as predicatives


(ii) Some adjectives that subcategorize for prepositional objects fond of, aware of, tantamount to, exempt from, answerable to, conducive to etc. (40) a. Teenagers are fond of rap music/*fond teenagers b. His refusal is tantamount to betrayal/* a tantamount refusal c. Is this student exempt from tuition fees?/*an exempt student

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


The exclusively modifying class includes adjectives that are confined only to a pre-nominal position (list from Avram 2003).

(i) Quantifying adjectives: half, partial, total. (41) a. We witnessed a total failure/*Our failure was total. b. We have won only a partial victory against our opponents/*Our victory is partial.

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


(ii) Intensifying adjectives: absolute, chief, mere, principal, pure, regular, sheer, utter, consummate, true

(42) a. This is sheer madness/*the madness is sheer b. Batman is a true hero/*the hero was true c. She is a mere child/*the child is mere

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


(iii) Adjectives that derive from (-abstract) mass nouns and function exclusively as noun modifiers. (43) a. a wooden table/*That table is wooden (i.e. made of wood) b. a leaden coffin/*This coffin is leaden. c. a golden ring/*Her ring is golden.

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


Still, examples like (43) are also possible even if they represent an exception to the rule.

(44) a. His leg hurt him badly and his movements were wooden. b. She had blue eyes and her hair was golden.
The exception is admitted in case these adjectives acquire a figurative meaning: wooden in 36 (a) is interpreted as stiff; golden has the meaning fair, blond.

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


(iv) Modal adjectives: alleged, potential, possible

(45) The man is an alleged criminal/*the criminal was alleged (46) This is a possible solution/*this solution is possible

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


(v) Temporal adjectives: future, former, occasional, present, daily, monthly late,

(47) He was our future CEO/*our CEO was future (48) The late Mr. Jones was a very nasty man/?Mr. Jones was late (i.e. deceased). (49) This is a monthly meeting/*the meeting is monthly

Exclusively modifying Adjectives as predicatives


(vi) Adjectives which denote manner: compulsive, heavy, new, old, frequent (50) John has a new friend/*His friend is new. (51) She is a compulsive liar/*This liar is compulsive. (52) This man is a frequent visitor of ours/*This visitor is frequent.

Both modifying and predicative Adjectives


The last class of adjectival predicatives includes adjectives with double interpretation: in one of their interpretation they are both predicative and modifying; in the second reading they are only modifying. In 53 (a) civil has the meaning polite, courteous and occurs in both predicative and modifying contexts; In 53 (b), however, its meaning is different and its occurrence is restricted to modifying contexts.

Both modifying and predicative Adjectives


(53) a. She gave me a very civil answer/Her answer was civil. b. He specializes in civil engineering/*The engineering he specializes in is civil. c. He shows criminal tendencies/His tendencies are criminal. d. He is a criminal lawyer/?The lawyer is criminal.

Derived Adjectives as predicatives

Very many predicatives are adjectives derived from verbs. In what follows, we will briefly survey them.

Derived Adjectives as predicatives


Adjectival predicatives derived from psych transitive verbs: surprising, pleasing, frightening, interesting, baffling, bewildering, scaring, disgusting etc. All these ing forms are present participles functioning as adjectives that can sometimes be followed by prepositional indirect objects. (54) a. The idea was surprising to everybody. b. He seemed frightening to the entire audience c. That was quite baffling !

Derived Adjectives as predicatives


However, these adjectives can also be past participles:

(55) a. She is bitterly disappointed with you. b. They seemed interested in your proposal.

Derived Adjectives as predicatives


Adjectival predicatives derived from transitive verbs whose direct objects turn into prepositional objects subcategorized by the adjective: forgetful, regretful, hopeful, envious, provocative etc. (56) a. He was regretful about his harsh words (He regretted his harsh words). b. He is hopeful about his future in the company (He hopes that his future in the company will be a good one). c. He is forgetful of his manners (He forgets that he must behave himself)

Derived Adjectives as predicatives


Adjectives derived from transitive verbs by the suffix able/-ible: irretrievable, divisible, solvable, washable, payable, destroyable, buyable, calculable, justifiable, conceivable, understandable,dependable, approachable etc. ( 57) a. These cheques are payable only to me. b. I am really sorry; the information is irretrievable. c. His behaviour under the circumstances is understandable. d. This is unconceivable!

The structure of copulative predicates


We have seen that copula verbs do not assign a thetarole to the subject in copular sentences. The predicative adjectives are responsible for theta-role assignment. This leads us to believe that, from a semantic viewpoint, the subject of the copular sentence and the predicative adjective make up a unit (see (33) above). Let us refer to this unit as a small clause (propozitie cu continut redus). We might say that the copula verb takes a small clause (SC) complement.