- Verb-preposition constructions in FDG
- Volume | Issue number
- 119 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This paper demonstrates how a number of well described but problematic verb-preposition constructions in English can be analysed in a consistent and unified manner within the framework of Functional Discourse Grammar (FDG). The analyses proposed make extensive use of the novel feature in FDG of separating lexemes from their predicate (now predication) frames. It is shown that the syntactic and semantic differences between the various verb-preposition constructions can be accounted for by assuming three different predication frames: the ‘composite predicate frame’, the ‘resultative frame’ and the ‘verb + prepositional complement frame’. Next the question is addressed of how to match lexemes and predication frames in such a way that both under- and overgeneration of verb-preposition constructions is prevented. It is suggested that the lexicon plays a crucial role here, in the sense that it is the information provided by or inferrable from the meaning definition of a lexeme that determines which combinations of lexemes and predication frame are acceptable. Finally, it is argued that the separate storage of lexemes and predication frames calls for a new perspective on the difference between arguments and modifiers. It is concluded that what matters is not the obligatory or optional expression of a participant as dictated by the predicate, but its presence - obligatory or optional - in the predication frame selected.
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