Valentina Ju. Apresjan
National Research University «Higher School of Economics», Moscow, 101000, Russia;
Vinogradov Institute of the Russian Language, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119019, Russia;
The paper examines the semantic structure of different types of predicates as well as their interaction with negation. Three types of predicates are considered – physical causatives (such as ‘to pour’, ‘to punch in’, ‘to drag’), emotional causatives (such as ‘to anger’, ‘to sadden’, ‘to hurt one’s feelings’, ‘to please’), interpretatives (such as ‘to sin’, ‘to spoil’, ‘to make a mistake’). Their semantic structures include two components: ‘action’ and ‘result’ (which can be a physical or an emotional state, or an interpretation). The hypothesis is that the status of the component ‘action’ in the semantic structure of the predicate and, hence, its interaction with negation, are contingent on the degree of control that this action implies. The greater is the degree of control, the closer are causal relations between the action and its result; therefore, these two semantic components are inextricably connected in the semantic structure. They belong to the same level of semantic representation, namely, to its assertive part and can, therefore, be negated. The lower is the degree of control, the weaker are causal relations between the action and its result; therefore, these two semantic components belong to different levels of semantic representation, namely, to its presupposition (‘action’) and to its assertive part (‘result’), with only the latter being available to negation.