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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.)

>[LIGHT VERBS] >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 >part-of-speech.
>(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. > [QUESTIONS] >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 area"?
>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. John Vertical _________________________________________________________________ Lataa ilmainen MSN Messenger