The argument-time structure of recipient constructions in German
The argument-time structure of recipient constructions in German. In W. Abraham, & J.-W. Zwart (Eds.
), Issues in formal german(ic) typology
(pp. 141-178). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
It is generally assumed that verbs have an ‘argument structure’, which imposes various constraints on the noun phrases that can or must go with the verb, and an ‘event structure’, which characterises the particular temporal characteristics of the ‘event’ which the verb relates to: this event may be a state, a process, an activity, an ‘event in the narrow sense’, and others. In this paper, it is argued that that argument structure and event structure should be brought together. The lexical content of a verb assigns descriptive properties to one or more arguments at one or more times, hence verbs have an ‘argument time-structure’ (AT-structure). Numerous morphological and syntactical operations, such as participle formation or complex verb constructions, modify this AT-structure. This is illustrated with German recipient constructions such as ein Buch geschenkt bekommen or das Fenster geöffnet kriegen.