Re: THEORY: Temporal Auxiliaries, Aspectual Auxiliaries, Modal Auxiliaries
|From:||John Vertical <johnvertical@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 9, 2005, 17:28|
(I think this part of the thread has not gotten much attention.)
>In some languages, IIRC Korean among them, many "verbs" are formed out of a
>"light verb" plus a content-word which may have the form of some other
>(A "light" verb is a verb whose lexical or semantic content is "not much".
>The prime example is the English verb "do" -- this is sometimes referred to
>as a "dummy" verb, the lightest of all possible verbs, carrying no meaning
>other than "I am a verb".)
> If I remember correctly, there is a language or there are languages in
>the global South, (whether in Africa or South America or Australia or
>Oceania, I am no longer sure), where not only are even a higher proportion
>(nearly all, iirc) of the "verbs" of the above form, but the inventory of
>"light verbs" is particularly few -- fewer than 5, iirc.
>6) Are all Auxiliaries necessarily Light Verbs?
I'd think so, but your definition of "light verb" seems incomplete... I'll
pose some further questions:
-Can a verb be light in some contexts and non-light (heavy? :) in others? In
other words, does a light verb always require a content word?
-Do light verbs in general differ grammatically from "heavy" verbs?
-What roles can the content word take? Eg. if noun, is it always an object
of some sort, or can it appear in place of a subject, too?
-What is the difference between a light verb construction and an idiomatic
construction? The verb's level of abstraction, the predictability of the
construction's meaning, or some more profound difference?
-Is there an exhaustive list of light verbs in English or is there a "gray
>7) an anyone think of any NatLang examples where most "verbs" consist of a
>Light and/or Auxiliary Verb together with a "content" "word", that makes it
>(the phrase) a "lexical verb"?
Yes please - if someone knows one, I'd be glad to read about it, too. I plan
to use this sort of a construction in !uwjge for all dynamic verbs, so a
natlang model would be most useful.
>8) In the above cases, what part of speech is the "content word" usually?
I'd guess noun, but what do I know?
>9) Are all Light Verbs on their way to evolving into Auxiliaries of one
>kind or another?
That could be possible, but inevitable? Certainly not. I can readily imagine
them also evolving into "heavy" verbs, verbal affixes or idiomatic clitics;
or perhaps disappearing altogether. Also, if a given light verb takes mostly
non-verbal content words to form lexical verbs, your suggestion & my two
last ones would demand all the content words associated with it to
simultaneously become verbs - I imagine this'd be big enough a change to
make such light verbs stabile.
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