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Verb Derivation in Modern Greek

Alternation Classes, Conceptual Structures, Semantic Fields


Chariton Charitonidis

This book examines the verb derivation in Modern Greek within an alternations framework and suggests a new model of analysis for verb derivation in general. The Greek -ízo verb derivatives constitute the focus of this study. The analysis is mainly motivated by Beth Levin’s work, who attempts to define significant meaning components for the English verb on the basis of diathesis alternations. The proposed model incorporates a version of Ray Jackendoff’s conceptual semantics. Issues covered in the book include the definition of five alternations for the Modern Greek verb and the identification of the underlying conceptual structures in -ízo derivation. Furthermore, the alternation classes in which the -ízo verbs appear are presented with a focus on the regularities inside these classes in relation to conceptual structures and semantic/situational fields. A principled account of the splitting of verb units is also provided and an attempt is made to answer the question of why a number of derivatives does not alternate. The book will appeal to students and researchers interested in lexical semantics, verb morphology, Modern Greek, lexicology, and the universals research.
Contents: General profile of verb derivation in Modern Greek – The causative/inchoative alternation – Five alternations for the Modern Greek verb – The causative/auto and the causative/control alternations – Opaque alternations – Morphological subclasses – Old and new derivation – Synchronically related and synchronically unrelated verbs – Exclusion criteria in the analysis of the -ízo verbs – Conceptual structures in -ízo derivation – Jackendoff’s theory and minimal lexical decomposition – Extension of semantic fields into situational fields – Argument Fusion – Ambiguous conceptual structures – The theme as material or immaterial entity – Boundedness of the theme – The nature of semantic fields and their co-operation with conceptual structures – The Semantic Field’s Inventory Hypothesis – Semantic fields as memory schemas and inference frames – Semantic fields and conceptual structures of the alternating -ízo verbs – The -ízo derivatives in the alternation classes – Semantic fields and conceptual structures as coherence factors – Split verbs – The senses of the verb kapnízo ‘smoke’ inside three scenes – Non-alternating verbs in -ízo.