A Cognitive Approach to Light Verb Constructions: Backstage Issues

Babak Sharif, Mohammad Amouzadeh


Persian Light Verb Constructions (LVCs) have been studied by many scholars. Yet, little attention has been paid to the process of LVC formation. This paper aims to situate the components of Persian light verb constructions in contexts that can be justifiably invoked as a motivation for LVC formation. We will investigate the issue by arguing that Persian LVCs can be analyzed in terms of incorporation process. This process, explained from a cognitive viewpoint, involves LVCs originating from complete clauses, then passing through a compositional path (Langacker 1987, 2008) where a nonverbal and a verbal element are selected out of a kernel clause and end up in a complex predicate (CPr). The investigation will be primarily focused on the LVCs constructed with LV kardan ‘do, make’, as the most frequently used light verb in Persian. The paper will also explore how different paths could be associated with certain particular ‘light’ meanings of kardan. The resulting LVCs may further yield constructional schemas upon which other LVCs formed with a given LV can be formed.

Keywords: Light verb construction, Complex predicate, Incorporation, Persian

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v7i3.7672

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