Resultatives and the architecture of event structure
Josep Ausensi
December 2020

It is a widely-accepted claim that more than one result state cannot be predicated in a single clause (Goldberg 1991; Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995; Tenny 1994; Tortora 1998; Rappaport Hovav 2008, 2014). This restriction is apparently supported by the fact that two distinct result states are not possible (e.g. *He wiped the table dry clean (Goldberg 1991:370)) and result verbs (Rappaport Hovav and Levin 2010) combined with result phrases denoting distinct result states are also not possible (e.g. *I thinned the soup tasteless (Rappaport Hovav 2014:276)). In this paper, I argue that the grammatical restriction on the number of result states that can be predicated in a single clause is a syntactic restriction regarding event structure: structurally there can only be one overt predicate denoting a result state. I propose that this is due to the fact that little v can only select for one predicate denoting a result state as its complement: an Adjective Phrase denoting a change of state or a path Prepositional Phrase, denoting a change of location. In addition, I note that result verbs can combine with result phrases denoting distinct result states than the one encoded by the verb (contra Rappaport Hovav and Levin 1998, 2010), therefore showing that semantically two result states can be predicated of the same entity (the result state encoded by the verb and the one by the result phrase), contra the traditional view.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005325
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: In Reisinger, Daniel and Rachel Soo (eds.), Proceedings of the 38th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville.
keywords: resultatives, event structure, result states, change of state, manner incorporation, syntax
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