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Valency in Verbs and Verb-Related Structures


Edited By Anna Malicka-Kleparska and Maria Bloch-Trojnar

The volume deals with valency phenomena in verbs and complex deverbal lexical structures (nominalizations, adjectivizations and compounds) in a variety of languages (English, Polish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Greek, Hebrew, Bantu languages and the West African language Ga). The introduction offers an overview of valency related issues and up-to-date linguistic literature. The eleven contributions address specific problems, such as the interaction of valency with argument- and event-structure, properties of light verbs, impersonal constructions, antipassives, analogies between passivization and nominalization/adjectivization, effects of verbal prefixation, and synthetic compounds. The proposed analyses are couched in lexically and syntactically driven approaches.

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Valency in verbs and verb-related structures – A theoretical background (Anna Malicka-Kleparska / Maria Bloch-Trojnar)


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Anna Malicka-Kleparska and Maria Bloch-Trojnar

The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Valency in verbs and verb-related structures – A theoretical background

1. Introduction

The papers contained in this collection are the offshoot of the fruitful discussions by the participants of the “Valency in clauses and verb related structures” workshop held during the 5th meeting of the Linguistics Beyond and Within Conference (LINGBAW) at the John Paul II Catholic University in Lublin on the 18th and 19th of October 2017. Valency or argument structure (AS) is traditionally defined as the list of obligatory participants in a situation which receive syntactic expression. The father of the notion of valency is Tesnière (1959), who compared the build-up of the core elements of a clause to the chemical valency of the atom (cf. Przepiórkowski 2018). In his view, clauses are like molecules whose structure largely depends on the valency value of the verb. The presence of arguments (‘actants’ in his terminology) is required by the verb and “completes” its meaning, while adjuncts (‘circumstants’) are optional and their number and type are not limited by the lexical properties of the verb. Tesnière’s (1959) publication aroused immense interest in the valency properties of verbs and verb-related structures. This area occupies a central position in syntax-oriented generative linguistics, which views all non-pragmatic, strictly grammatical aspects of language as being ultimately derived from the generative syntactic skeleton dressed in morphological and semantic content....

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