Volume 38, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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I propose a comparative analysis of the locative alternation in Polish and Spanish. I adopt a constructional theory of argument structure (Goldberg (1995)), according to which the locative alternation is an epiphenomenon of the compatibility of a single verb meaning with two different constructions: the caused-motion construction and the causative + with adjunct construction. As claimed by Pinker (1989), a verb must specify a manner of motion from which a particular change of state can be obtained in order to be able to appear in both constructional schemas. However, I show through a corpus study that the compatibility between verbal and constructional meaning is further restricted by Talmy’s (1985, 1991, 2000) distinction between verb-framed and satellite-framed languages. In particular, Talmy’s lexicalization patterns theory systematically explains why both the token frequency and the type frequency of the alternating verbs are considerably higher in Polish than in Spanish.


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