Chapter published in:Usage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew: Background, Morpho-lexicon, and Syntax
Edited by Ruth A. Berman
[Studies in Language Companion Series 210] 2020
► pp. 465–506
Transitivity and valence
The study explores a range of transitive constructions of varying prototypicality in Modern Hebrew (MH) referring to causal and non-causal events, including complex predicates, semi-transitive and lexicalized constructions, with transitivity analyzed as a morpho-syntactic category rather than a semantic concept. The chapter describes various types of alternations and variations in case-frame and argument structure in MH transitive constructions, noting the growing tendency towards labile alternation (ambitransitivity), particularly in the prototypical causative morphological pattern of the hif’il verb-template (e.g., hilbin ‘whiten’ serves both as causative ‘make white’ and inchoative ‘become white’). In such cases, a change in the valence-frame of the verb does not necessarily involve change in the verb-morphology, yielding the claim that transitivity in MH does not depend exclusively on the semantic frame or morpho-phonological nature of the verb-pattern, but instead on the overall syntactic properties of the construction, which in turn is dependent on discourse requirements. Avoidance in discourse of the core O (object) argument is shown to occur even in highly transitive constructions, in which reader-hearers resolve the unrealized argument by context-based inferences and/or based on their communicative competence in conversational discourse.
Published online: 18 March 2020
Anderson, Stephen R.
Berman, Ruth A.
2017 Word class distinctiveness versus polycategoriality in Modern Hebrew: Psycholinguistic perspectives. In Lexical Polycategoriality: Cross-linguistic, Cross-theoretical, and Language Acquisition Approaches [Studies in Language Companion Series 182], Valentina Vapnarsky & Edy Veneziano (eds), 343–376 Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Berman, Ruth A. & Uziel-Karl, Sigal
Borschev, Vladimir & Partee, Barbara H.
Dixon, Robert M. W. & Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
Doron, Edit & Dubnov, Keren
Dubnov, Keren & Doron, Edit
Fillmore, Charles J.
2006 Possessors, goals and the classification of ditransitive predicates: Evidence from Hebrew . In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics, Vol. 6, Olivier Bonami & Patricia Cabredo Hofherr (eds), 137–154. http://www.cssp.cnrs.fr/eiss6/
2005 Constructions, lexical semantics and the correspondence principle: Accounting for generalizations and subregularities in the realization of arguments. In The Syntax of Aspect: Deriving Thematic and Aspectual Interpretation [Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 10], Nomi Erteschik-Shir & Tova Rapoport (eds), 215–237. Oxford: OUP.
2007 Transitive verbs with non-accusative alternation in Hebrew: Cross-language comparison with English, German and Spanish. In On Interpreting Construction Schemas: From Action and Motion to Transitivity and Causality [Trends in Linguistics 198], Nicole Delbecque & Bert Cornillie (eds), 61–101. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Haspelmath, Martin, Calude, Andreea, Spagnol, Michael, Narrog, Heiko & Bamyaci, Elif
Hay, Jennifer, Kennedy, Christopher & Levin, Beth
Hopper, Paul J. & Thompson, Sandra A.
Kulikov, Leonid, Malchukov, Andrej L. & de Swart, Peter
2002 tavnit ha‘ħagam’ hapšutah balašon hamyuceget kimduberet [The simple impersonal construction in texts represented as colloquial Hebrew]. In Speaking Hebrew: Studies in the Spoken Language and in Linguistic Variation in Israel [Te’uda 18], Shlomo Izre’el (ed.), 329–352. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University.
LaPolla, Randy, Kratochvíl, František & Coupe, Alexander R.
Lauwers, Peter & Willems, Dominique
Levin, Beth & Rappaport-Hovav, Malka
Malchukov, Andrej L.
Nichols, Johanna, Peterson, David A. & Barnes, Jonathan
Rappaport-Hovav, Malka & Levin, Beth
Smith, Carlotta S.
1978/2011 Jespersen’s ‘Move and Change’ class and causative verbs in English. In Linguistic and Literary Studies in Honor of Archibald A. Hill, Vol. 2: Descriptive Linguistics [Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 8], Mohammad Ali Jazayery, Edgar C. Polomé & Werner Winter (eds) 101–109. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
Thompson, Sandra A. & Hopper, Paul J.