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2. Frameworks of lexical decomposition of verbs

From the book Semantics - Lexical Structures and Adjectives

  • Stefan Engelberg


Starting from early approaches within Generative Grammar in the late 1960s, the article describes and discusses the development of different theoretical frameworks of lexical decomposition of verbs. It presents the major subsequent conceptions of lexical decompositions, namely, Dowty’s approach to lexical decomposition within Montague Semantics, Jackendoff’s Conceptual Semantics, the LCS decompositions emerging from the MIT Lexicon Project, Pustejovsky’s Event Structure Theory, Wierzbicka’s Natural Semantic Metalanguage, Wunderlich’s Lexical Decompositional Grammar, Hale and Kayser’s Lexical Relational Structures, and Distributed Morphology. For each of these approaches, (i) it sketches their origins and motivation, (ii) it describes the general structure of decompositions and their location within the theory, (iii) it explores their explanative value for major phenomena of verb semantics and syntax, (iv) and it briefly evaluates the impact of the theory. Referring to discussions in article 7 [Semantics: Foundations, History and Methods] (Engelberg) Lexical decomposition, a number of theoretical topics are taken up throughout the paper concerning the interpretation of decompositions, the basic inventory of decompositional predicates, the location of decompositions on the different levels of linguistic representation (syntactic, semantic, conceptual), and the role they play for the interfaces between these levels.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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