specifications of the main verb (Boas, to appear: 4-5). In this paper I consider howunaccusative phenomena
in English are accounted for by such a constructional approach.Levin and Rappaport-Hovav (henceforth L&RH) (1995) discuss three grammaticalphenomena of English with relation to ‘unaccusativity’:
The Resultative Construction (Section 2)2.
The Causative Alternation
Locative Inversion (Section 4)
In sections 2-4 I discuss these constructions in turn. In section 5 I consider variable verbsand gradience of acceptability. In section 6 I consider how the concept of ‘unaccusativity’in English can be analysed by a constructional approach and furthermore the benefits andlimitations of this approach. Section 8 concludes.
‘Unaccusative phenomena’ are broadly defined as the grammatical aspects of a languageaccounted for by the UH within a generative framework.
The Causative Alternation is not a construction, but a term given to the systematiccorrespondence between a lexical causative verb construction and an antitransitive constructionwhich have the same main verb and in which the object of the lexical causative and the subject of the antitransitive are both the theme.