This chapter studies the analysis of verb valency, which is at the root of most of the theoretical and practical positions held in the present book, and provides most of the evidence for its support. The main points of valency analysis are described, with the addition of several new important considerations which resulted from research on the topic in the last 5 years. It starts with the definition of diatheses, that is, constructions that have the property of subclassifying verbs by distinguishing those that occur in the construction and those that do not. Each verb can occur in one, more often in several diatheses, and the set of all diatheses of a verb is its valency. Diatheses are expressed as symbolic associations: a morphosyntactic structure and a set of thematic relations, each assigned to one of the complements of the sentence. The morphosyntactic component is comparatively simple, and basically well understood; but the set of thematic relations, and the ways they come to be assigned to their complements is a surprisingly complex system, not properly described in the current literature. This chapter begins the study of the assignment system, to be continued in subsequent chapters.
KeywordsAlternation Diathesis Simpler syntax Subject Valency Valential subject
- Goldberg, A. (2006). Constructions at work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jackendoff, R. S. (2010). Meaning and the lexicon: The parallel architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Langacker, R. W. (1987). Foundations of cognitive grammar: Vol. I: Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Langacker, R. W. (1991). Foundations of cognitive grammar: Vol. II. Descriptive application. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Levin, B. (1993). English verb classes and alternations: A preliminary investigation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Loredo Neta, M. (2014). Objeto direto: condições de omissão no português do Brasil [Direct object: Conditions of omission in Brazilian Portuguese]. Doctoral thesis, UFMG, Belo Horizonte.Google Scholar