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Verb-based restrictions on noun incorporation across languages


Olthof, Marieke; van Lier, Eva; Claessen, Tjeu; Danielsen, Swintha; Haude, Katharina; Lehmann, Nico; Mous, Maarten; Verhoeven, Elisabeth; Visser, Eline; Vuillermet, Marine; Wolvengrey, Arok (2020). Verb-based restrictions on noun incorporation across languages. Linguistic Typology:1-46.

Abstract

Although some characteristics of incorporating verbs and non-incorporating verbs have been proposed in previous studies, little systematic cross-linguistic research has been done on restrictions on the types of verbs that incorporate nouns. Knowledge about possible verb-based restrictions on noun incorporation may, however, provide important insights for theoretical approaches to noun incorporation, in particular regarding the question to what extent incorporation is a lexical or a syntactic process, and whether and how languages may vary in this respect. This paper therefore investigates to what extent languages restrict noun incorporation to particular verbs and what types of restrictions appear to be relevant cross-linguistically. The study consists of two parts: an explorative typological survey based on descriptive sources of 50 incorporating languages, and a more detailed investigation of incorporating verbs in corpus data from a sample of eight languages, guided by a questionnaire. The results demonstrate that noun incorporation is indeed restricted in terms of which verbs allow this construction within and across languages. The likelihood that a verb can incorporate is partly determined by its degree of morphosyntactic transitivity, but the attested variation across verbs and across languages shows that purely lexical restrictions play an important role as well.

Abstract

Although some characteristics of incorporating verbs and non-incorporating verbs have been proposed in previous studies, little systematic cross-linguistic research has been done on restrictions on the types of verbs that incorporate nouns. Knowledge about possible verb-based restrictions on noun incorporation may, however, provide important insights for theoretical approaches to noun incorporation, in particular regarding the question to what extent incorporation is a lexical or a syntactic process, and whether and how languages may vary in this respect. This paper therefore investigates to what extent languages restrict noun incorporation to particular verbs and what types of restrictions appear to be relevant cross-linguistically. The study consists of two parts: an explorative typological survey based on descriptive sources of 50 incorporating languages, and a more detailed investigation of incorporating verbs in corpus data from a sample of eight languages, guided by a questionnaire. The results demonstrate that noun incorporation is indeed restricted in terms of which verbs allow this construction within and across languages. The likelihood that a verb can incorporate is partly determined by its degree of morphosyntactic transitivity, but the attested variation across verbs and across languages shows that purely lexical restrictions play an important role as well.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Uncontrolled Keywords:Linguistics and Language, Language and Linguistics
Language:English
Date:30 September 2020
Deposited On:07 Jan 2021 11:33
Last Modified:08 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:1430-0532
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2020-2054
Official URL:https://www.degruyter.com/view/journals/lity/ahead-of-print/article-10.1515-lingty-2020-2054/article-10.1515-lingty-2020-2054.xml
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