The Semantic Structure of Causative Constructions
This paper shows that an adequate semantic analysis of causative transitive constructions with verbs like break, turn and roll has to take into account two phenomena: 1) semantic specification, and 2) change of state or accomplishment. These two phenomena are not at all specific to this type of transitive construction and, as a matter of fact, causation is nothing more than the co-occurrence of an unspecified subject and a change of state. The process leading up to this change of state is not controlled by the initiator of the event. Interestingly, absence of control occurs precisely when the subject is unspecified.
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