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English versus Slavic

Lexicon in a Morphological and Semantic Perspective


Edited By Ewa Konieczna and Robert Kiełtyka

This book offers a collection of papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of theoretical and contrastive linguistics. The contributions are devoted to current developments in morphological and semantic theorizing. The contrastive analyses conducted by the authors examine the structure of English and selected Slavic languages.

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Dispositional Middles in English and Polish with Detours into Other Slavic Languages (Anna Malicka-Kleparska)


Anna Malicka-Kleparska

Dispositional Middles in English and Polish with Detours into Other Slavic Languages

Abstract: In this text we will compare the class of dispositional middles in English and Polish, with some supplementation with the material coming from Czech and Russian, in order to establish the position of such constructions in the analyzed languages. In spite of many superficial similarities that may be observed between dispositional middles in English and in Slavic, we will argue that the comprehensive outlook upon the data shows clearly that the respective positions of dispositional middles in the systems of English and Polish are very different. English dispositional middles possess distinct grammatical structures that single them out from among other intransitive verbs in the language. Polish dispositional middles, on the other hand, constitute a fraction of a more extensive category of “notional” middles, i.e. intransitive verbs whose subject arguments are affected, and thus Polish middles should not be ascribed a distinctive grammatical structure by the grammar of the language. The distinction in the position of middle structures in the respective grammatical systems is justified on the basis of comparisons drawn between middle structures and other “notional” middles.

Key words: dispositional middles, notional middle, English, Polish, Czech, Russian

1. Introduction

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