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On the Study of the Interaction between Syntax and Semantics in See Verb Construction in English

Mija Kim 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The major goals of this paper are to identify the degree into which the meanings of 'see' verb can be extended, focusing on the extended meanings shown in the expressions that denote our instinctive actions for survival, such as eating or drinking, etc., and to clarify the doubt on whether any syntactic pattern can be associated with the meaning in the process of meaning extension of 'see' verb. For doing this task, this paper picked out 2,000 examples randomly from COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English), in which the verb 'see' is used. This paper classified the sentences into thirteen different sentence types, according to the syntactic patterns. This research showed that these thirteen syntactic types lead us to figure out the process of the meaning extension of the verb 'see'. With this result, this paper made an attempt to provide the four steps toward the meaning extension of verb 'see'. The verb 'see' in the first step denotes the meaning of purely seeing the visualized objects. This verb in the second step expresses the shifted function, under which the agent in the subject position takes the seeing action as a secondary task in order to carry out other main task. The verb in the third step denotes the extended meanings irrelevant to the seeing action, because the sentences on this step do not contain any visualized objects. In the last step this verb functions as conventional implicature whose meaning does not contribute to the whole meaning of a sentence. In addition, this paper identified that the syntactic properties are deeply associated with the process of meaning extension of the verb 'see', and tried to formalize this relationship between the syntax and semantics within the framework of Construction Grammar based on A. Goldberg.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.