ISSN: 1139-8736
Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000

6.2. Goldberg’s Constructional Approach

6.2.1. The English Caused Motion Construction Range and Meaning

Goldberg (1995) defends the existence of a "caused-motion" construction. She defines it structurally as follows:

(Where V is a nonstative verb and OBL is a directional phrase). It is meant to encompass sentences like: (Goldberg 1995: 152)
(6.62) They laughed the poor guy out of the room.

(6.63) Frank sneezed the tissue off the table.

(6.64) Mary urged Bill into the house.

(6.65) Sue let the water out of the bathtub.

(6.66) Sam helped him into the car.

(6.67) They sprayed the paint onto the wall.

Semantically, a causer argument causes a theme argument, the object that moves, to move along a path designated by the directional phrase; schematically: ‘X causes Y to move Z’

One of the basic tenets of Goldberg’s approach is that to prove that a construction is needed it is necessary to demonstrate that its semantics is not derivable from the lexical components or from other constructions in the grammar. In the case of the English Caused Motion construction, Goldberg demonstrates this by attempting to derive its semantics from the verb’s inherent meaning, from the meaning of the preposition or from a combination of the two.

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ISSN: 1139-8736
Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000