Constructional polysemy and argument realisation with the Irish GET verb
This paper reports on the nature of argument realisation in GET constructions in Irish with the verb <i>faigh</i> ‘get’ and the challenges it poses for theories concerned with argument realisation, event structure and the syntax to semantics linking system. This construction licences both GET-recipient/possessive and GET-passive readings. In functional models of grammar we expect the verb to project an argument structure and semantics based on the verb’s lexical entry, but these seem to need a constructional perspective to explain the realisation of the verb’s arguments (Michaelis 2006, 2010). The construction exhibits constructional polysemy with two core senses (‘HAVE’ and ‘BECOME’) that do not appear to be predicted by the lexical semantics of the verb. This account places the processing workload on the linking system, which needs to be sensitive to the ontological status of the second nominal argument in the lexical entry for the <i>faigh</i> ‘get’ verb. The lexical entry is underspecified for particular attributes including the nature of the predicate pred’. We present an account of this Irish GET verb and its constructions within a functional characterisation (Van Valin 2005, 2013). Additionally, we discuss the nature and internal architecture of constructions using evidence from the realisation of GET constructions in Irish.