The Locative Alternation
A Contrastive Study of Dutch vs. English
In this paper, I elaborate a 'lexicogrammatical approach to the locative alternation in Dutch and English, in which the semantics of the constructions is related directly to the semantic features of their verbs. First I take stock of the different verb classes associated with one or both variants in Dutch and English. Whereas both the spray and the load-classes alternate in English, only the spray-verbs do so in Dutch. However, the alternating spray-class is much more extended in Dutch, which I then argue is partly due to the use of the prefix be- in Dutch in one of the variants. Be-, I show, has an applicative meaning, and is used to bring out the correspondence between Patients designating a surface and the locative Process. When they are not prefixed by ht-, these verbs have a primarily dispersive meaning, which tends to collocate with the Patient designating the substance.
Published online: 09 November 1999
Cited by 6 other publications
Davidse, Kristin & Liesbet Heyvaert
Hernández, Roberto Mayoral
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