Article in:Studies in Language: Online-First Articles
Caused-Motion and Caused-Position
Syntactic patterns and semantic networks
According to Goldberg (1995), placement verbs (such as put) are instantiated in the Caused-Motion Construction. Rohde (2001), however, argued that placement verbs in fact occur in a different construction, which she names the Caused-Position Construction, whose semantic value is not ‘cause to move’ but rather ‘cause to be positioned’. The present paper redefines and justifies the postulation of Caused-Position Construction. The Caused-Position Construction is compatible with not only placement verbs but also a variety of other verbs, such as verbs of creation (write or build) or certain stative verbs (want or need), many of which also occur in the Locative Inversion construction. Further, a similar distinction between Caused-Motion and Caused-Position can be attested in Mandarin as well, which suggests that the distinction between two patterns of spatial causation may not be idiosyncratically confined to the English language but motivated by the general patterns of human cognition.
Keywords: Construction Grammar, Caused-Motion Construction, Caused-Position Construction, Locative Inversion, polysemy, English, Mandarin
Published online: 27 October 2020
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