West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) (38th : 2020)

Resultatives and the architecture of event structure Ausensi, Josep 2020-03-06

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Resultatives and the architecture of event structure∗Josep AusensiUniversitat Pompeu Fabrajosep.ausensi@upf.eduhttps://josepausensi.wixsite.com/ausensiThe 38th meeting of the West Coast Conference on Formal LinguisticsThe University of British Columbia. March 6 – 8, 20201 Introduction• It is widely argued that more than one result state cannot be predicated in a single clause(Goldberg 1991, 1995; Tenny 1987, 1994; Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995; Rappaport Hovav 2008,2014).• This is supported by the fact that (i) two distinct result states in a single clause are not possible.(1) a. *Sam kicked Bill black and blue out of the room. (Goldberg 1991: 368)b. *He wiped the table dry clean. (Goldberg 1991: 370)c. *Sam tickled Chris off her chair silly. (Goldberg 1991: 368)• (ii) result verbs (i.e. verbs encoding change of state/location, see Rappaport Hovav and Levin 2010)do not permit result phrases that introduce distinct result states.(2) a. *She carried John giddy. (Simpson 1983: 147)b. *Bill broke the vase worthless. (Jackendoff 1990: 240)c. *The vase fell broken. (Rappaport Hovav 2014: 23)• Crucially, result verbs permit result phrases but only if they further specify the result the verbencodes. Thus, in this case, there is only one ‘actual’ result state.• This is what Rappaport Hovav and Levin (1998, 2010), following Tortora (1998), argue in favor of:result verbs, in contrast to manner verbs, only permit result phrases that further specify the resultstate by the verb.(3) a. John broke the vase into pieces.b. John froze the soup solid.c. John arrived in Barcelona.∗I am grateful to Vı´ctor Acedo-Matella´n, Alessandro Bigolin and Jaume Mateu for useful discussions about the presentwork. This work is supported by the project Connecting Conceptual and Referential Models of Meaning 2 (CONNECT 2)(PI: Louise McNally) from the Ministerio de Economı´a y Competitividad (FFI2016-76045-P) (AEI/MINEICO/FEDER, UE)and also by an ICREA Academia award to Louise McNally. All errors are my own. This handout is available for download athttps://tinyurl.com/vq3ljga.1• Regarding (1) and (2), Tenny (1987: 190) claims that “there may be at most one ‘delimiting’associated with a verb phrase”, where an eventuality can be delimited as a result of the meaning ofthe verb, as in (2), or through the use of a result phrase, as in (1).• Similarly, Goldberg (1991: 368) argues that “if an argument x refers to a physical object, then morethan one distinct path [= result states] cannot be predicated of x within a single clause”, whatshe calls the Unique Path Constraint.• However, there are some examples that apparently violate such a grammatical restriction asthey involve result verbs combined with path PPs denoting a distinct result state.(4) a. The cook cracked the eggs into the glass. (Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995: 60)b. Daphne shelled the peas onto the table. (Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995: 60)c. He broke the walnuts into the bowl. (Goldberg 1991: 376)• In relation to such examples, it is important to note that the UPC does not appear to constrain thenumber of result states per clause, but rather the number that can be predicated of a single entity.• In light of this, Levin and Rappaport Hovav (1995) suggest then that such examples are possiblesince the two distinct result states are predicated of distinct entities, e.g. the eggshells break,whereas the contents move.• Drawing on this, Beavers and Koontz-Garboden (2017a) argue then that two distinct result statesare possible if they are predicated of distinct entities.(5) a. The skiers skied the trail clean of snow.b. The skiers skied their skies to pieces.• Similarly, in Ausensi (2019, to appearc), I explicitly argued in favor of a more nuanced view of thisphenomenon and proposed the ‘One Scalar Change per Entity Constraint’, where a scalarchange is understood as a result state (see Rappaport Hovav and Levin 2010).(6) a. *The window broke its way into the room. (Jackendoff 1992: 213)b. The snow must have frozen so hard during the night that he couldn’t break his way out.(COCA)(7) a. *The butter melted its way off the turkey. (Goldberg 1996: 45)b. When the Human Torch melted his way through a wall on his way to dispatching a coupleof gangster thugs. (GBooks)• Yet, this also runs into problems, since, as Goldberg and Jackendoff (2004) point out, there areexamples of result verbs and path PPs in which the two distinct result states are predicated ofthe same entity as in The chocolate melted out of the box.11In Ausensi (to appearc), I am aware of such an example and suggest, following Yasuhara (2013), that such an examplewould not constitute a counterexample to my account since the two result states, i.e. the change of state denoted by meltand the change of location denoted by the PP, do not actually constitute two different result states, but a single one (i.e. thechange of location by the PP is a further specification of the result state encoded by the verb). Although this might explainthat example, such an explanation runs into problems in light of the examples below.21.1 One overt result predicate per clausethis talk: I focus on combinations of result verbs and result phrases denoting distinct result states.• I propose that the grammatical restriction on the number of result states that can be predicated ina single clause is a (syntactic) restriction regarding event structure, insofar as there can onlybe one overt predicate denoting a result state, either a change of state or change of location.• In more formal terms, I propose that little v can select for a predicate denoting a change of state(e.g. an AP) or a change of location (e.g. a PP), but never both in the same event structure.• In short, I propose that it is not a restriction regarding whether combinations of result verbs andresult phrases denoting distinct result states are grammatically possible.• Evidence comes from the fact that there are naturally-occurring examples of result verbs andpath PPs (8)-(9), as well as result verbs combined with APs where the result state that the APsdenote is distinct from the one by the verb (10)-(11).(8) a. He told her a plane had just smashed into the North Tower. (GloWbE)b. A lot of the water sprayed onto the ship had frozen onto the steel. (GloWbE)c. The snow melted off the lower part of the Range. (COCA)(9) a. Jackfish cleaned the mud out of the car. (COCA)b. They [...] broke the branches off the winterdry limbs. (COCA)c. We blasted the tops off mountains. (COCA)(10) a. Sailor finishes his beer [...] steps on it, crushing it flat. (COCA)b. Huebner picked a nit from behind his ear and squished it dead. (COCA)c. A couple of monks broke the corpse loose from the deck. (COCA)(11) a. The ceiling split open. (COCA)b. Car doors banged shut. (COCA)c. The dog tore free. (Basilico 2012: 95)• In sum: result verbs can combine with result phrases denoting distinct result states, andtwo result states can be predicated of the same entity.2 Analysis2.1 Assumptions• I assume that (a) verb meanings consist of an event structure that decomposes into event tem-plates, defining temporal and causal structure, and roots, providing real-world details about theevent (Rappaport Hovav and Levin 1998; Borer 2003; Ramchand 2008; Alexiadou et al. 2015, i.a.)• For ease of exposition, I adopt a neoconstructionist approach to argument/event structure(Harley and Noyer 2000; Embick 2004; Harley 2005; Borer 2005; Ramchand 2008; Alexiadou et al.2006, 2015), whereby verbs are created in the syntax by merging roots and functionalheads (see Hale and Keyser, 1993, 1997, 2002; von Stechow 1996; Marantz 1997; Harley 2003; Folliand Harley 2005; Mateu and Acedo-Matella´n 2012; Acedo-Matella´n and Mateu 2014).3• Under such theories, it is assumed that the meanings roots and templates introduce are mutuallyexclusive. For instance, Embick (2009) argues that roots never introduce templatic meanings suchas change (e.g. vbecome), what he calls the Bifurcation Thesis for Roots (see also Arad 2005;Borer 2005; Dunbar and Wellwood 2016).• Following Beavers and Koontz-Garboden (2020), Ausensi (to appeara), Ausensi et al. (to appear), Iassume that some classes of roots introduce templatic meanings such as change or intention-ality, contra theories of event structure.• For instance, what Beavers and Koontz-Garboden call result roots (e.g.√break), in contrast toproperty concept roots (e.g.√cool), inherently comprise as part of their entailments meaningsthat some theoretical approaches assume to be part of templatic meanings introduced by projectionssuch as vbecome.2(12) a. 〚√break〛= λxλs[broken’(x, s) ∧ ∃e’[become’(e’, s)]]b. 〚√cool〛= λxλs[cool’(x, s)]2.2 Implementation• Following Mateu (2002), Embick (2004), McIntyre (2004), Harley (2005), Mateu and Acedo-Matella´n(2012), Acedo-Matella´n and Mateu (2014), I argue that roots are structurally interpreted as manneror result depending on the position they occupy in the event structure: as modifiers/adjuncts orarguments of vcause or vbecome.• I depart thus from Rappaport Hovav and Levin (1998, 2010) (also Rappaport Hovav 2017; Levin 2017)and other approaches that assume that the ontological-type classification of roots determine rootinsertion in the event structure (e.g. Alexiadou et al. 2015).3• I propose that the grammatical restriction on the number of result states that can be predicated in asingle clause is a (syntactic) restriction regarding (sub)event structure in the sense that there canonly be one overt result predicate per clause: a vP or an aP denoting a change of state, or apath PP, denoting a change of location.• In transitive complex events (McIntyre 2004; Embick 2004; Mateu 2008), where the verb encodesa result state (e.g. John broke the eggs into the vase), verbal roots are inserted as modifiers of v (asthey describe the manner with which the causer brings about the result: e.g. John got the eggs intothe vase by breaking).• In this case, the little v head can only select for a PP, with Ploc as its head, denoting a change oflocation (13) or for a vP (14), in which a second root merges with vbecome, yielding a change of stateinterpretation. The two possible structures are given below, with examples for each.2The fact that some classes of verbal roots introduce templatic meanings such as change or intentionality has been shown tohave grammatical consequences (at least) for morphology (Beavers et al. 2017; Koontz-Garboden and Beavers 2017; Beaversand Koontz-Garboden 2020), sublexical decomposition (Beavers and Koontz-Garboden 2020; Ausensi to appeara), argumentstructure (Beavers and Koontz-Garboden 2017b, 2020; Ausensi to appeara; Ausensi et al. to appear) and (in)direct causation(Ausensi to appearb).3For other approaches that also propose/assume root ontologies, see Harley and Noyer (2000), Ramchand (2008), Alexiadouet al. (2006, 2015). Instead, the view that roots have an ontological-type classification relevant when determining grammaticalproperties is (explicitly) denied in Acquaviva (2008, 2014), Borer (2003, 2005) and Mateu and Acedo-Matella´n (2012).4(13) DP1 verb DP2 path PP.vPv´PPP´PPPlocDP2vvcause√rootDP1(14) DP1 verb DP2 AP.vPv´vPv√root2vbecomeDP2vvcause√root1DP1(15) Jackfish cleaned the mud out of the car. (≈ get the mud out of the car by cleaning)vPv´PPP´out of the carPPPlocthe mudDPvvcause√cleanJackfishDP(16) Sailor crushed his beer flat. (≈ cause the beer to become flat by crushing)vPv´vPv√flatvbecomehis beerDPvvcause√crushSailorDP• In intransitive complex events of change of state, where the verb also encodes a result state (e.g.The plane smashed into the tower), verbal roots are inserted as modifiers of vbecome(as they describethe manner with which a theme achieves the result: e.g. The plane got into the tower by smashing).• In this case, the little v head can only select for a PP (17), as in transitive complex events, or foran aP, which contains a second root that merges with a, yielding a change of state (18). The twopossible structures are given below, with examples for each.5(17) DP verb path PP.vPv´PPP´PPPloct ivvbecome√rootDPi(18) DP verb AP.vPv´aP√rootavvbecome√rootDP(19) The plane smashed into the tower. (≈ get into the tower by smashing)vPv´PPP´into the towerPPPloct ivvbecome√smashThe planeDPi(20) The ceiling split open. (≈ become open by splitting)vPv´aP√openavvbecome√splitThe ceilingDP• Thus, in these cases, the verbal roots attach as modifiers of vbecomeas they describe the mannerwith which the result (expressed by the PPs/APs) is achieved.• The ungrammaticality of the simplex events in (1), repeated below as (21), is naturally accountedfor in the present account since there are two overt realizations of the same predicate, i.e. thereare two overt result predicates (a PP and an AP, or two PPs or two APs).(21) a. *Sam kicked Bill black and blue out of the room. (Goldberg 1991: 368)b. *He wiped the table dry clean. (Goldberg 1991: 370)c. *Sam tickled Chris off her chair silly. (Goldberg 1991: 368)6• The apparent counterexamples in (4), repeated below as (22), are also naturally accounted for inthe present analysis, as the verbal root is inserted as a modifier of vcause, whereas it is the PP thatdenotes the actual result (i.e. get the eggs into the vase by breaking).(22) a. The cook cracked the eggs into the glass. (Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995: 60)b. Daphne shelled the peas onto the table. (Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995: 60)c. He broke the walnuts into the bowl. (Goldberg 1991: 376)(23) John broke the eggs into the bowl. (≈ get the eggs into the bowl by breaking)vPv´PPP´into the bowlPPPlocthe eggsDPvvcause√breakJohnDP• The present accounts makes a number of welcome predictions:1 (In)transitive complex events of change of state (where the verb encodes a result state)can only combine with path PPs or APs, but never both.(24) a. *John broke the eggs into the bowl open.b. He broke the eggs into the bowl.c. He broke the eggs open.(25) a. ??The eggs broke open into the bowl.b. They broke into the bowl.c. They broke open.(26) a. ??The chocolate melted out of the box into the cup.b. It melted into the cup.c. It melted out of the box.2 Simplex events (where the verb encodes a manner of action; hammer the metal flat) can onlycombine with path PPs or APs, but never both.(27) a. *Tam laughed himself silly faint.b. He laughed himself silly.c. He laughed himself faint.(28) a. ??John sneezed the napkin off the table into a case.b. He sneezed it off the table.c. He sneezed it into a case.7(29) a. ??Sam hammered the metal flat into the ground.b. She hammered it flat.c. She hammered it into the ground.3 Conclusion and open questions• In this talk, I have argued that there can be two result states per clause. In addition, two resultstates can be predicated of the same entity.• I have proposed that there is a restriction on the architecture of (sub)event structure insofaras there can only be one overt result predicate per clause.• Result verbs can appear with result phrases that denote distinct result states but in this case theroots of result verbs are inserted as modifiers of little v , and the result phrase denotes the actualresult.• In a similar vein, the examples in (8)-(11) suppose a problem for ontological-type classificationsof roots, such as the one in Rappaport Hovav and Levin (2010), as well as the one in Alexiadou etal. (2015).• This is because Rappaport Hovav and Levin argue that there are two general root ontologies, i.e.manner and result. Manner roots are always inserted as modifiers of the act predicate, as theyare claimed to encode a (manner of) action, whereas result roots are always inserted as argumentsof the become predicate, as they encode a (result) state.• Such approaches fail to capture the fact that the same root can appear in different syntacticconfigurations, i.e. as an adjunct/modifier and as an argument (further see Mateu and Acedo-Matella´n 2012; Acedo-Matella´n and Mateu 2014).open questions for future research• The present account predicts that examples such as I broke the mirror into the garbage pail shouldbe possible. Yet, Levin and Rappaport Hovav (1995) note that they are not.• I suggest that such an ungrammaticality is only apparent and conceptual in nature as it is notpossible to establish a causal relation that links the action by the verb and the result by the PPs.As a reviewer points out, such examples are in fact possible if a clear causal relation is established,e.g. that breaking the mirror is the intended means in order to get it into the pail (because it is toobig).• Similarly, some roots of certain result verbs appear to disallow manner incorporation. In otherwords, they are not found as adjuncts/modifiers of little v, and therefore disallow result phrases thatintroduce distinct result states.(30) a. *John opened/darkened/blackened + DP + Result XP (Embick 2009: 7)b. *I thinned the soup tasteless. (Rappaport Hovav 2014: 276)c. *We dimmed the room empty. (Rappaport Hovav 2008: 23)8• I speculate that the semantics of the roots must be compatible with the syntactic configu-ration (what Beavers and Koontz-Garboden 2020 call root-determined argument realization,i.e. “roots determine which templates they may occur in owing to the roots’ semantics”).• In this vein, drawing on Embick (2009), I propose there are two classes of result verbs: those fromroots such as√break which can be inserted as either arguments and event modifiers, and those fromroots such as√cool where coercion into event modifiers is not possible (they are always arguments).• Recall that Beavers and Koontz-Garboden (2020) call the former result roots and the latter prop-erty concept roots: only result roots introduce entailments of change as they require that the statethey denote be the result of a change.(31) a. 〚√break〛= λxλs[broken’(x, s) ∧ ∃e’[become’(e’, s)]]b. 〚√cool〛= λxλs[cool’(x, s)]• Result roots (e.g.√break) are thus predicates of states with eventive properties, as they requirethat the state they denote be the result of a change. This class of roots are prime candidates for beingarguments, as they are predicates of states, but can also be merged as adjuncts/modifiers of littlev due to their eventive properties (= predicates of states with eventive properties).• Property concept roots (e.g.√open) do not introduce templatic meanings and are thereforeprime candidates for being complements of v as they denote simple states.• Manner roots (e.g.√pound) are predicates of events: they denote actions, and are thereforeprime candidates for being event modifiers. In other words, as they denote actions, they frequentlyappear as modifying a causing subevent (e.g. hammer the metal flat) and rarely as arguments.(32) 〚√pound〛= λxλe[pound’(x, e)]• Result roots can thus be event modifiers, contra Rappaport Hovav and Levin (2010)/Alexiadou etal. (2015), but their frequency as modifiers is lower than roots that are predicates of events. 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