Verb Meaning and the Lexicon

The relationship between the meaning of words and the structure of sentences is an important area of research in linguistics. Studying the connections between lexical conceptual meaning and event structural relations, this book arrives at a modular classification of verb types within English and across languages. Ramchand argues that lexical encyclopedic content and event structural aspects of meaning need to be systematically distinguished, and that thematic and aspectual relations belong to the latter domain of meaning. The book proposes a syntactic decompositional view of core verbal meaning, and sets out to account for the variability and systematicity of argument structure realisation across verb types. It also proposes a novel view of lexical insertion.

• A highly original study of the relationship between word meaning and sentence structure • Illustrated with a mass of data from a variety of languages • Written by a renowned author in the field of syntactic theory


1. Introduction; 2. The empirical ground; 3. A first phase syntax; 4. Deriving verb classes; 5. Paths and results; 6. Causativization; 7. Conclusion.