Article published in:Transitivity: Form, Meaning, Acquisition, and Processing
Edited by Patrick Brandt and Marco García García
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 166] 2010
► pp. 237–256
Lability and spontaneity
The present paper focuses on labile verbs – lexemes which can behave transitively or intransitively without a formal change. Haspelmath (1993a) and Comrie (2006) claim that the semantic spontaneity is the crucial factor for the distribution of inchoative/causative oppositions, based on data of the causative and the anticausative formal type. In contrast, my analysis of labile verbs across languages shows that for lability, another factor is crucial, namely, the semantic classification of verbs. In particular, the groups as motion verbs, destruction verbs, and phasal verbs tend to be labile across languages.
Published online: 17 November 2010
Cited by 4 other publications
Bermejo, Víctor Lara
HASPELMATH, MARTIN, ANDREEA CALUDE, MICHAEL SPAGNOL, HEIKO NARROG & ELİF BAMYACI
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