Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the syntactic decompositional view of event structure. On this view, the event is composed of distinct syntactic heads that correspond to its meaning ingredients. The chapter critically reviews the various arguments presented in the literature for a decompositional analysis of pairs of verbs that differ roughly in that one of them has one more argument than the other. It focuses on the inchoative alternation, comparing it to the Japanese and Hungarian causative alternations. The chapter shows that these alternations differ from one another in important respects, and only the Japanese causative alternation deserves a syntactic decompositional treatment. The chapter thus contributes a critical evaluation of the scope and limitations of syntactic representations of lexical decomposition.
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