Article published in:Atypical predicate-argument relations
Edited by Thierry Ruchot and Pascale Van Praet
[Lingvisticæ Investigationes Supplementa 33] 2016
► pp. 115–130
The argument-structure configuration of English middle and related structures
This paper assesses the place of middle structures in relation to transitivity and intransitivity in English. Unlike some accounts that have questioned the grammatical status of middles as a self-standing category, this research justifies the recognition of middles as a structural category that constitutes an independent class of intransitive sentences. It does so through an analysis of the underlying thematic structure of middles themselves, as compared to structures which deviate from the middle prototype and other non-canonical structures. A discussion of these issues highlights the great fluidity shown by English verbs entering diathesis alternations, as well as the intransitivisation process exhibited by the English verbal paradigm. The paper concludes with some theoretical considerations regarding the notion of argument structure.
Published online: 08 December 2016
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