This chapter sets out the theoretical and empirical bases of the work. It introduces transitivity as a linguistic concept, as well as the categories of ‘agent noun’ and ‘action noun’. Semantic and syntactic transitivity are distinguished. It introduces Lexical-Functional Grammar, the formal framework in which analysis is provided, as a tool for the full understanding of transitivity. It summarizes the evidence for transitive nouns and adjectives in previous linguistic literature, indicates the types of word that the book will be engaging with, and looks at formal analysis. It introduces the early Indo-Aryan languages, Sanskrit and Pali, and the texts which are used as the basis for this work.
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