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The Roots of Verbal Meaning

John Beavers and Andrew Koontz-Garboden


This book explores possible and impossible word meanings, with a specific focus on the meanings of verbs. It adopts the now common view that verb meanings consist at least partly of an event structure, made up of an event template describing the verb’s broad temporal and causal contours that occurs across lots of verbs and groups them into semantic and grammatical classes, plus an idiosyncratic root describing specific, real world states and actions that distinguish verbs with the same template. While much work has focused on templates, less work has addressed the truth conditional contributio ... More

Keywords: lexical semantics, lexical decomposition, event structure, root, ditransitive verb, change-of-state verb, manner, result, sublexical modifier, scale

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198855781
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198855781.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Beavers, author
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, The University of Texas at Austin

Andrew Koontz-Garboden, author
Professor of Linguistics, Department of Linguistics and English Language, The University of Manchester