Frequency, acceptability, and selection: A case study of clause-embedding
Aaron Steven White, Kyle Rawlins
September 2020

We investigate the relationship between the frequency with which verbs are found in particular subcategorization frames and the acceptability of those verbs in those frames, focusing in particular on subordinate clause-taking verbs, such as "think", "want", and "tell". We show that verbs’ subcategorization frame frequency distributions are poor predictors of their acceptability in those frames—explaining, at best, less than 1/3 of the total information about acceptability across the lexicon—and, further, that common matrix factorization techniques used to model the acquisition of verbs’ acceptability in subcategorization frames fare only marginally better. All of the data and code discussed in this paper is available at
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004596
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted at Glossa
keywords: subcategorization, selection, acceptability, frequency, clause-embedding, semantics, syntax
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