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DELTA: Documentação de Estudos em Lingüística Teórica e Aplicada

Print version ISSN 0102-4450On-line version ISSN 1678-460X


CANCADO, Márcia. The Psych-Verbs of Brazilian Portuguese and Belletti & Rizzi's Unaccusative Analysis: Indications for a Semantic Proposal. DELTA [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.1, pp.119-139. ISSN 0102-4450.

Psychological verbs differ from Agent-Patient verbs in two known ways. The first classical problem raised by these verbs is that those verbs have an Experiencer and a Theme that can be projected onto different syntactic configurations, apparently, in an arbitrary way: in the first class, the fear class, the subject of the verb is the Experiencer and the Theme is the object of the verb; the second class, the frighten class, these relationships are reversed. The second issue raised by psych-verbs is that an anaphor inside the subject of a verb that has as first argument a Theme can take the object of the verb as its antecedent. The aim of this paper is to provide evidence for a semantic proposal concerning those problems of psychological verbs. Building on it, I will also propose a new classification for these verbs, by applying Belletti & Rizzi's unaccusative proposal to psychological verbs in Brazilian Portuguese.

Keywords : Psychological verbs; Argument structure; Unaccusative hypothesis; Thematic roles; Semantic clues.

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