Causation and semantic control. Diagnosis of incorrect uses in minorized languages



Argitaratua 2003-02-15
Igone Zabala


Data obtained about the use of language for special purposes can be a valuable tool for
checking theoretical predictions concerning semantics and syntax of certain kinds of verbs.
   The goal of this paper is to find some kind of test to prevent incorrect uses in Basque
specialized texts, without refusing available but previously not achieved uses.We characterize agents, circumstantial causes, instruments and themes according to the features self-initiator, controller, controlled and affected. We also compare unaccusatives which take part in the "causative alternation" with pure unaccusative verbs, with regard to the above-mentioned features. We conclude that both bear subjects which can be defined as internal causes. Neverheless, uncontrollable causes are avoided as affected themes, and either they avoid all kinds of transitive constructions or they allow transitive constructions with circumstantial causes as subject. On the other hand, we claim that clauses with an instrument as subject bear an empty cause, which complement allows restricted kinds of aspectual interpretations. We also show that experiencer predicates can be related to the above mentioned semantic features. When experiencers take part in a transitive construction they are affected objects, but experiencers can also be internal causes. Finally, we explore the selectional behavior of some affixes which derive deverbal nouns or adjectives, and we conclude that the above mentioned semantic features are relevant in the competence of speakers when they generate deverbal nouns or adjectives.

Nola aipatu

Zabala, Igone. 2003. «Causation and Semantic Control. Diagnosis of Incorrect Uses in Minorized Languages». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo", otsailak, 255-83.
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