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Lexical AnalysisNorms and Exploitations$
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Patrick Hanks

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018579

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018579.001.0001

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Three Types of Alternation

Three Types of Alternation

(p.173) Chapter 7 Three Types of Alternation
Lexical Analysis

Patrick Hanks

The MIT Press

There are three ways in which regular patterns of usage in a language alternate with one another: Lexical alternations, semantic-type alternations, and syntactic alternations. In general, alternations reflect differences in focus rather than differences in overall clause meaning and may be found with some words but not with other words. The chapter discusses the meaning potential of a word and alternations within norms and different aspects of word meaning, along with the most common types of syntactic alternation of English verbs, including active/passive alternation, causative/inchoative alternation, and indirect object alternation. It also considers reciprocal verbs and ellipsis as alternation, ellipsis of adverbials and prepositions, clausal ellipsis, and resultative constructions, and, finally, looks at a couple of examples where semantic alternations border on exploitations.

Keywords:   usage, language, lexical alternations, semantic-type alternations, syntactic alternations, word meaning, reciprocal verbs, ellipsis, resultative constructions, exploitations

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