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Structuring Sense Volume 2The Normal Course of Events$
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Hagit Borer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263929

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263929.001.0001

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Why Events?

Why Events?

(p.30) 2 Why Events?
Structuring Sense Volume 2

Hagit Borer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Argument structure is licensed by functional syntactic structure, and specifically, functional structure that is interpreted as event structure. This syntactic structure, in turn, affects aspects of the basic meaning of its L-head, where by L-head we mean a (category-neutral) listeme, part of the conceptual array. The functional structure may further have the effect of ‘verbalizing’ the L-domain (if not already verbalized by categorial morphology), where by the L-domain we mean the maximal category the L-head projects. The L-head, or, more accurately, the listeme, in turn functions as a modifier of the structure, giving rise to appropriateness or oddity, as the case may be, and as already discussed extensively. To the extent that argument structure is altogether severed from the properties of the L-head that is to become the verb, we expect massive polysemy. This chapter turns to at least one well-known case of polysemy within the verbal domain. It illustrates this polysemy within the domain of verb structures, arguing not only that it occurs, but that its best characterization is through the projection of functional structure which is interpreted as event structure.

Keywords:   argument structure, event structure, listeme, polysemy, functional structure, verb

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