Psych verbs: The behavior of the ObjExp verbs in Brazilian Portuguese
Márcia Cançado, Luana Amaral, Letícia Meirelles, Maria José Foltran
September 2023

Psychological verbs, especially Object Experiencer verbs, are widely discussed in the linguistic literature because of their peculiar syntactic and semantic properties. Two main issues regarding Object Experiencer verbs are often raised their aspectual nature and an alternation process (with the experiencer in subject position). This article analyzes Brazilian Portuguese Object Experiencer verbs, focusing on these issues. Based on a study of 170 verbs, we claim that Object Experiencer verbs constitute a verb class whose members describe a complex stage level state in which a stimulus state activates (in a causative relation) a mental state in an experiencer. In addition , we argue that Object Experiencer verbs appear in an inverse form: the experiencer as subject, and the stimulus as oblique. We claim that such an inverse form does not result from the causative alternation. In the inverse structure, different from an inchoative form of a change of state verb, both arguments are strongly preferable , and the verbs still denote a stative situation. We also provide a representation for the event structure of those verbs, using predicate decomposition, that is associated with their syntactic properties.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007589
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistics -to appear
keywords: alternation; brazilian portuguese causative states; event structure; psych verbs, semantics
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