Verbs: Aspect and Causal Structure

Verbs: Aspect and Causal Structure

by William Croft


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This book presents a model of event structure for the analysis of aspectual constructions and argument structure constructions in English and other languages. Representing the culmination of two decades of the author's research and thought, it explores the contribution of semantics to the argument-structure and tense-aspect constructions in which verbs occur, integrating the aspectual and causal structures of events. The argument is framed in relation to current and previous scholarship and takes full account of diachronic and usage-based research. Professor Croft's analysis encompasses the full range of English verb classes and is enriched throughout by a strong typological dimension: the syntax and semantics of verbs are always seen from a crosslinguistic perspective. This allows the author to demonstrate the generality of his theory and to show how it breaks new ground in predicting and explaining linguistic facts.

The subject of the book is at the heart of current work in syntax and semantics and the interface between them. It will interest semanticists, syntacticians and cognitive and functional-typological linguists. The transparency of the author's style and his avoidance of theory-dependent constructs will extend its appeal to linguists of all theoretical stripes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199248599
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/04/2012
Series: Oxford Linguistics
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William Croft is Professor of Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. His books include Typology and Universals (CUP 1990, second edition 2003), Syntactic Categories and Grammatical Relations (University of Chicago Press 1991), Explaining Language Change (Longman 2000), Radical Construction Grammar (OUP 2001) and Cognitive Linguistics (with D. Alan Cruse; CUP 2004).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Aspectual Structure of Events
3. Change, Boundedness, and Construal
4. The Interaction of Grammatical and lexical Semantics: Quantitative and qualitative analyses
5. Toward a Force-dynamic Theory of Argument Realization
6. Causal Structure in Verbal Semantics and Argument Realization
7. The Interaction of Aspect and Causal Structure in Verb Meaning
8. Complex Predicate Constructions and the Semantics of Simple Verbs
9. Verb meaning and Argument Structure Constructions
10. Envoi

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