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English Perception Verbs

Gisborne, Nikolas Simon; (1996) English Perception Verbs. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is an investigation into the syntax and semantics of English verbs of sensory perception. There are six chapters including the introduction and the conclusion. In the first chapter, I outline the classes of verbs that are investigated: they are described by the verb for the auditory sensory modality, so there are LISTEN-class, HEAR-class and SOUND-class verbs. Each class of verbs includes a verb of vision, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. I outline the reasons for including some verbs in the study and excluding others. I also discuss models of semantic structure and linking between syntax and semantics that have been proposed before. The final section of this chapter outlines the theoretical model used in this thesis. In Chapter 2, I describe the syntax of the various constructions that the selected verbs may occur in on a class-by-class basis. In Chapter 3, I describe the semantics of HEAR-class verbs. The majority of the chapter is taken up with a consideration of the semantics of SEE; the analysis of SEE provides a basis for the study of the remaining verbs of the class. In Chapter 4, I describe the semantics of LISTEN-class verbs, drawing out the differences and similarities between those verbs which select for an object, and LISTEN, which is complemented by a prepositional phrase, and LOOK, which does not have a complement. In Chapter 5, I describe the semantics of SOUND-class verbs. In this chapter, I describe the differences between three semantic classes of SOUND-class verbs, looking at their interaction with restrictions on the complementation of the verbs. Chapter 6 is the conclusion. I draw some general conclusions about the nature of semantic structure and I discuss some of the verb-particular observations that my study throws into relief.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: English Perception Verbs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; English; Perception verbs
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104930
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