Verb Valency

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Verb Valency

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Title: Verb Valency
Grammatical functions and Semantic roles
Author: Anker Jensen, Per
Abstract: Valency deals with the question of how many participants a certain verb logically presupposes in order for the event denoted by the verb to be realizable. For instance, it takes only one individual to carry out a sleeping event. Each and every one of us can do that without any assistance from others. Therefore, we say that a verb (or verbs) denoting a sleeping event presupposes one argument, namely the individual doing the sleeping. A full sentence describing a sleeping event, then, typically consists of an appropriate form of the verb plus a phrase, typically an NP denoting the individual who sleeps, as in (1): (1) John sleeps Accordingly, the verb sleeps is described as belonging to the class of Mono-valent verbs, which comprises all intransitive verbs, die, wither, walk, run, liquidate, etc.. In this sentence the argument is realized as an NP with the sentential grammatical function of subject, and the subject has the semantic role of AGENT. Note that sleeping is an intentional act since (more often than not) you can decide whether you want to sleep or not1.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8673
Date: 2013-04-05

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