Light Verbs across languages
LV is a term that refers to different types of verbs crosslinguistically. In certain languages, LVs can have semantic and event modulation values while in other languages they are considered highly light and have been grammaticalized totally. In this section we will briefly sketch some of these studies that are related to our thesis.
Grimshaw and Mester (1988) refer to the Japanese verb suru, ‘do’, as a LV that is used in combinations built with nouns. In this case, the LV suru, ‘do’, is semantically light. For Korean, Hale & Keyser (1997) and Kim (1994) also consider hata, ‘do’, as a LV that has a grammatical contribution to the construction rather than a semantic one. The following examples illustrate the usage of these LVs in Japanese and Korean respectively.Therefore, in these languages, LV is only considered as a verb marker and cannot contribute to the lexical content of the construction.
In Romance languages, the analysis of LVs can be extended to restructuring verbs. According to Rosen (1991) and Di Sciullo & Rosen (1990), these verbs have a fully specified meaning and are semilightverbs (called verbes de support in French). However, unlike lexical verbs, they do not have specified arguments. They believe that the main verb in a given sentence determines the type of auxiliary and is responsible for the argument of the whole LVC. As is shown in the example (3) in Italian language, transitive and unergative verbs select avere ‘have’. They claim that, unlike the LVs hata and suru, ‘do’, in Korean and Japanese, Romance LVs can combine with other full main verbs. However, the verb faire ‘do, make’ in French can build light verb constructions like other families of languages (faire le ménage).
As is illustrated by the following Italian example, the semiLV volere ‘want’ type verb can combine with parlare ‘talk,’ and both verbs contribute to the meaning of the CP while voluta has no specified
As Butt (2010), discusses speakers of Urdu, use LVs and combine them with a verb to express events. She argues that these LVs, in fact, provide some information about the event (“event modulation”) as follows: “who did the causation, what the result was, whether the event was bounded or whether it was benefective, sudden, agentive/volitional, accidental, etc.” (Butt, 2010: 68). However, she distinguishes the LV kar ‘do’ from other LVs, and considers it as a “verbalizer” (Butt, 2010: 51). Based on her definition, this LV is only a device for creating new verbs and absorbing loan words into the language. Furthermore, kar ‘do’ differs from other LVs in Urdu since it cooccurs with nouns and adjectives instead of verbs. Lemmens & Sahoo (2017, 2018), also add that verbalizers cannot contribute to the event modulation, and they are only used to make new verbs. Although Persian LVs, at first sight, seem to be like verbalizers since their appearance is similar to these verbs (a noun or an adjective can combine with them), they clearly show different behaviors. For example, as we will discuss in our analysis, Persian LVs can contribute to the meaning of the whole construction and also contribute to the duration of the events.
Light Verbs in Persian Complex Predicates
In this section, we will introduce Persian LVs and present their lexical and phrasal properties. Unlike other languages, such as English and French, that have a large number of simplex verbs, in Persian, CPs dominate the verbal system. As discussed earlier, for centuries the use of simplex verbs has gradually diminished in Persian, such that in the contemporary language there exists only a small set of simplex verbs, about 279 (Khanlari, 1973). In addition, unlike English and French, CPs in Persian have no simplex verb counterparts. Therefore, these CPs are generally translated by simplex verbs in other languages.
These CPs, unlimited in number, are formed by the combination of two elements: one nonverbal the other verbal. The nonverbal element, also known as preverb (PV) in Persian, can be a noun, a noun phrase, an adjective, a prepositional phrase, or an adverbial phrase. The verbal elements are around 20 LVs such as kardan ‘do’, zadan ‘hit’, daadan ‘give’, bordan ‘take’, khordan ‘eat’, daashtan ‘have’, keshidan ‘pull’, rikhtan ‘pour’, etc. Followings are the examples of such CPs.
As explained in our introduction, Persian CPs consist of a nonverbal element and a light verb without any linking morpheme between them (in bare form). The LV may also carry tense, aspect, and mood marking. The nonverbal element can be nominal, adjectival, adverbial, or prepositional words or phrases. These constructions in languages such as English are interchangeable by their simplex counterparts (e.g., take a walk versus walk), while most of the time in Persian they do not have simplex counterparts. The characteristics of these constructions have been the center of attention for several decades. Specifically, their lexical and syntactic properties have given rise to controversial discussions due to the dual behavior that they represent. In the following section, the major lexical and syntactic properties of Persian CPs are briefly explained.
Lexical and Phrasal Properties
In this part first we will present three reasons that indicate CPs act like lexical units:
(i) the whole CP functions as a stem for morphological derivation, (ii) the PV and the LV cannot be separated by intervening constituents, and (iii) the stress pattern in CPs deviates from that of simplex verb and the CP has a single stress which falls on the PV. Furthermore, we will also present phrasal properties of CPs: (i) being inflected by certain prefixes attached to the LV, (ii) being intervened by modals between PV and LV, (iii) being intervened by adjectives between PV and LV, (iv) being relativized, (v) accepting direct object clitics either between PV and LV or after the LV as a suffix. In many ways, Persian CPs behave like lexical verbs. For example, like lexical verbs, they can undergo several morphological derivations. CPs can go through derivational processes, such as nominalization. In this process, a word such as a verb, an adjective, or an adverb is transformed into a noun via regular derivation. Following example shows how a verb can turn into a noun through nominalization.
Table of contents :
Table of Contents
Table of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
2. Light Verb Constructions
2.1. Light Verbs across languages
2.2. Light Verbs in Persian Complex Predicates
2.2.1. General Characteristics
22.214.171.124. Lexical and Phrasal Properties
126.96.36.199. NounIncorporation vs Compounding
188.8.131.52. Semantic and syntactic Contribution of PV and LV in CP
2.2.2. Constructional Account of Persian CPs
3. An Overview of Spatial Events
3.1. Language and Everyday Experiences
3.2. Concept of Space
3.2.1. Spatial Events
3.2.2. Static vs. Dynamic Events
3.2.3. Talmy’s Binary Typology: SFramed vs. VFramed Languages
4. Data and Method
5. General Tendencies of Simplex Verbs vs. CPs in Spatial Events
5.1. Semantic Information Expressed in Spatial Events
5.1.1. Existential Verbs
5.1.2. Neutral Verbs
5.1.3. Possessive and Perceptual Verbs
5.1.4. Specific Verbs
5.2. Transitivity Differences
6.1. Kardan ‘do’
6.1.2. Body Part
184.108.40.206. Body part: Path
220.127.116.11. Body part: Surrounding
18.104.22.168. Body part: Configuration
22.214.171.124. Presence: Disappearance
126.96.36.199. Presence: Empty/Full
6.2. Zadan ‘hit’
6.2.1. Path with Direction
6.2.2. Body Part
6.2.5. Sticky Substance
6.3. Daadan ’Give’
6.3.5. Path with Direction
6.4. Bordan ‘Take’
6.4.2. Body Part
6.4.3. Path with Direction
6.4.4. Other CPs
6.5. Comparison of kardan, zadan, daadan, bordan
6.5.1. Common Semantic Groups
6.5.2. Syntactic types of PVs
6.5.3. Transitivity of CPs