Chapter published in:Contrastive Studies in Verbal Valency
Edited by Lars Hellan, Andrej L. Malchukov and Michela Cennamo
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 237] 2017
► pp. 328–373
Valency alternations between inflection and derivation
A contrastive analysis of Italian and German
Valency alternations are usually treated either as a lexical phenomenon resulting from the manipulation of the argument structure of a verb or as a context-conditioned variation resulting from the insertion of a verb into a certain syntactic configuration or construction. In the paper, the attempt is made to give support to the lexical view by discussing valency alternations along the inflectional / derivational continuum. In particular, the contrastive analysis of Italian and German valency alternations shows that several different types can be observed which range from patterns clearly belonging to the inflectional pole such as the passive, the resultative and the reflexive to patterns of a lexical nature which can be treated on a par with their corresponding derivational analogues. Accordingly, valency alternations can be arguably considered as a type of conversion – i.e. as a process of lexeme formation – with a basically modifying value in which the base undergoes a sub-classification in hyponymic terms.
Published online: 30 April 2017
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