On the expression of resultativity in English: The view from multiple resultatives
Josep Ausensi, Ryan Walter Smith, Jianrong Yu
June 2024

We examine an understudied class of multiple resultatives, resultatives which possess more than one result phrase, as in A guard shot him dead off his horse (Cappelle 2005). We propose that the eventualities introduced by such resultatives are ordered in a nested causal chain, such that the manner event causes the first result state, and the first result state in turn causes the second result state. We implement this by adopting a rule of CAUSATIVE FORMATION, which relates the second result phrase to the first via the CAUSE relation. We contrast our analysis with a previous approach due to Ausensi & Bigolin (2021), which proposes that the second result phrase be analyzed as a low depictive. We show that the low depictive analysis makes incorrect predictions about the temporal and causal relations that must hold between the eventualities at play in a multiple resultative. The nested cause analysis, by contrast, correctly captures the properties of multiple resultatives. The proposal has implications for proposed constraints on the expression of resultativity, such as the UNIQUE PATH CONSTRAINT (Goldberg 1991), which restrict the theme of an event to holding one result state per clause. While we deny the existence of any independent restriction of result phrases to one per clause, on our approach, the purported effects of the UNIQUE PATH CONSTRAINT can be understood as arising from the interaction between the causal structure of multiple resultatives and world knowledge, such that examples motivating the UNIQUE PATH CONSTRAINT, e.g., *Sam kicked Bill black and blue out of the room (Goldberg 1991), involve states that cannot cause the state introduced by the second result phrase.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/008173
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics
keywords: event structure, argument structure, resultatives, lexical semantics, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [June 2024]
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