Resultative Construction

-- StefanMueller -- 28 Oct 2005

1. General

1.1. Label

Resultative Construction

1.2. Reasons for construction status

some resultative constructions have a idiosyncratic meaning that is not predictable from its parts, the causative component is licensed by the simultaneous appearance of a resultative predicate and a verb + accusative object

1.3. Examples

(1) a. They water the tulips flat.
    b. They run their Nikes threadbare.

(2) a. Sie  trinken die Kneipe leer.
       they drink   the pub    empty
    b. Es regnet die Stühle naß.
       it rains  the chairs wet

2. Language Information


no special variety.

2.2. Language

English, German and other languages

2.3. Variety

2.3.1. Regional

seems to be possible without regional restrictions

2.3.2. Social

no social variation for the general pattern

2.3.3. Register

no variation according to situation for the general pattern

2.3.4. Speech Community

no information

2.3.5. Genre

no particular genre

2.3.6. Style

no particular stylistic properties

2.3.7. Language Contact

no information

2.4. Time Period

no information

2.5. Stage of Acquisition

no information

3. Form

3.1. Syntax


The Resultaitve Construction consists of a verb, an element with object properties and a predicate that predicates over this object. Several subclasse of the Resultative Construction are recognized: a transitive verb that obligatorily governs an object + resultative predicate (1), a verb that maybe used without an object + an object that does not get a thematic role from the verb + resultative predicate (2), and finaly a unaccusative verb + resultative predicate (3).

(1) The gardener watered the flowers flat.

(2) They drank the pub dry.

(3) The river froze solid.

While some authors distinguish these three cases in terms of structure (Goldberg, 1995), others treat the cases (1) and (2) as instances that have the same syntactic structure: an intransitively used verb is combined with an accusative object and a resultative predicate (Hoekstra, 1988, p. 118; Oppenrieder, 1991, p. 116; Wunderlich, 1997; Müller, 2002, Chapter 5.1.2).

3.1.2. Internal Valency

The result predicate depends on the verb and forms a predicate complex with it (in German). The accusative element is the subject of the result predicate. Some authors claim that it can be simultaneously the accusative object of the main verb, but others regard all accusative objects as raised from the result predicate. Constituency

In German, predicate and verb form a complex.

3.1.3. External Category

(category label) Structural Position

(syntagmatic relationships between this construction and other constructions (but see also 4.3))

3.2. Morphology


The resultative construction interacts with inflectional and derivational morphology (adjective derivation, nominalization).

3.2.2. Internal Morphological Properties of Elements

The verb stem has to be inflected.

3.2.3. External Morphological Properties of Construction

(morphological properties of the construction itself)

4. Meaning

4.1. Semantics


If we have X V Y Pred, the meaning is cause(V(X),become(Pred(Y)) (assuming an intransitive V in the construction).

4.1.2. Internal Frame

(frame evoked) Event

(event type) Participants

(description of the participants, e.g. as 'selection restrictions') Truth-Conditional Stuff

(information on the truthconditional properties of the construction) Negation

(peculiar behaviours with respect to negation) Scope

(description of the scope of the construction)

4.1.3. External Semantic Class

(semantic category) Relation to Construction-External Semantic Elements

  • type: textarea
    (description of semantic relations outside of the construction) Truth Relations

  • type: text
    (information on the truthconditional relationships of the construction) Semantic Presuppositions

(semantic presupposition) Semantic Entailments

(semantic entailments)

4.2. Pragmatics


(general pragmatic behaviour)

4.2.2. Internal

(internal pragmatic properties)

4.2.3. External Indexical Properties Deixis
  • type: text
    (linguistic and extralinguistic domains indexed) Intertextuality
  • type: text
    (intertextual links evoked) Interpersonal Function (Politeness, Other-Self, etc.)

  • type: text
    (Politeness, Other-Self, etc.) Speaker attitude

(modality, epistemic, emotion) Speech Act Force

  • type: text
  • desc: Rhetorical Function

  • type: text
  • desc: Style

  • type: text
  • desc: Pragmatic Presuppositions / Implicature

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  • desc:

4.3. Discourse Properties

4.3.1. Internal Turn Constructional Status

  • type: text
  • desc: Within-Turn Position

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  • desc:

4.3.2.External Sequential Context

  • type: text
  • desc: Position in Text- and Dialogue-Structure

  • type: text
  • desc: Sequence Type

  • type: text
  • desc:

4.4. Information Structure

4.4.1. Intern Topic - Comment

  • type: text
  • desc: Focus

  • type: text
  • desc:

4.4.2. Extern Signaled Information Status (Given - New - Brandnew - etc.)

  • type: text
  • desc: Information Status Requirements

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  • desc:

4.5. Data

4.5.1. Introspection

both corpus and introspection

4.5.2. Authentic data Source data properties: Quantitative specifications

  • type: text
  • desc: Source material size/length

  • type: text
  • desc: Number of considered tokens

  • type: text
  • desc: Sampling

  • type: text
  • desc: Search string

  • type: text
  • desc: Sample rate

  • type: text
  • desc: Number of retrieved hits

  • type: text
  • desc: Cleaning procedures

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  • desc:

4.6. Literature

Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. Constructions. A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure, Cognitive Theory of Language and Culture. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.

Goldberg, Adele E. and Ray S. Jackendoff 2004. The English Resultative as a Family of Constructions. Language. 80(3), pages 532-568.

Hoekstra, Teun. 1988, Small Clause Results, Lingua. 74, pages 101-139.

Kaufmann Ingrid. 1995. Konzeptuelle Grundlagen semantischer Dekompositionsstrukturen. Die Kombinatorik lokaler Verben und prädikativer Elemente. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. Linguistische Arbeiten 335.

Müller, Stefan, 2002. Complex Predicates: Verbal Complexes, Resultative Constructions, and Particle Verbs in German. Studies in Constraint-Based Lexicalism, Nr. 13, Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Müller, Stefan, 2006. Phrasal or Lexical Constructions? Language 82(4), pages 850–883.

Oppenrieder Wilhelm. 1991. Von Subjekten, Sätzen und Subjektsätzen. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. Linguisitische Arbeiten 241.

Simpson Jane. 1983. Resultatives. In Lori S. Levin, Malka Rappaport, and Annie Zaenen (Eds). Papers in Lexical Functional Grammar. Indiana University Linguistics Club.

Wechsler Stephen. 1997. Resultative Predicates and Control. In Ralph C. Blight and Michelle J. Moosally (Eds). Texas Linguistic Forum 38: The Syntax and Semantics of Predication. Proceedings of the 1997 Texas Linguistics Society Conference. Austin, Texas, pages 307--321.

Wunderlich Dieter. 1997. Argument Extension by Lexical Adjunction. Journal of Semantics. 14(2), pages 95-142.

5. Relations to other constructions

5.1. Subtypes

5.1.1. Diachronic

  • type: text
  • desc:

5.1.2. Synchronic

  • type: text
  • desc:

5.2. Supertypes

5.2.1. Diachronic

  • type: text
  • desc:

5.2.2. Synchronic

  • type: text
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5.3. Paradigmatic Relations

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  • desc:

6. Description

6.1. Author

Stefan Müller (should be filled in automatically)

6.2. Date

(date of last editing) should be filled in automatically

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