Force-dynamics and Polysemy in LVCs Formed by Gereftan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in General Linguistics, University of Isfahan

2 Professor of Linguistics, University of Isfahan

3 Assistant professor in General Linguistics, University of Isfahan


Light verbs are generally considered a special grammatical category which have little semantic contribution to verb phrases, and therefore few studies have explored the light-heavy verb semantic relationships. Drawing on Brugman’s version of force-dynamics, cognitive lexical semantics and examining around 130 compound and light verb constructions formed by gereftan, this paper showed that although this light verb is not as lexically rich as its heavy counterpart, there remain systematic semantic relationships between the two. Given the limited number of Persian simple verbs, heavy verbs allow the expression of new concepts by making complex predicates, and therefore it is expected that the heavy verb gereftan will participate in numerous compound and light constructions and lose aspects of its meaning in the process. However, this paper showed that the light verb gereftan not only maintains various aspects of meaning including force-dynamic ones, different light verb usages are also a function of the heavy verb’s polysemy.


انوری، حسن (1382). فرهنگ بزرگ سخن. تهران، سخن.
دبیرمقدم، محمد (1376). فعل مرکب در زبان فارسی، مجله‌ی زبانشناسی، سال دوازدهم، 2-45.
دهخدا، علی‌اکبر (1377). لغتنامه، تهران، دانشگاه تهران.
شریف، بابک (1394). بررسی شناختی افعال سبک در زبان فارسی، پایان‌نامه‌ی دکتری، دانشگاه اصفهان.
صدری افشار، غلامحسین، حکیمی، نسرین و حکیمی، نسترن (1377). فرهنگ فارسی امروز، تهران، کلمه.
عموزاده، محمد و بهرامی، فاطمه (1391). ساخت افعال سبک بر اساس زبان‌شناسی شناختی. فصل‌نامه‌ی پژوهش‌های زبان و ادبیات تطبیقی، سال سوم، شمارۀ چهارم، 169-191.
فرشیدورد، خسرو (1351). کلمۀ مرکب و معیارهای تشخیص آن در زبان فارسی، مجموعۀ سخنرانی‌های دومین کنگرۀ تحقیقات ایرانی (ص. 169-217). مشهد، دانشگاه مشهد.
فرشیدورد، خسرو (1373). فعل مرکب و ساختمان آن، آشنا، 74-82.
کریمی‌دوستان، غلامحسین و روحی بایگی، زهرا (1395). بررسی چندمعنایی فعل سبک «زدن» از دیدگاه شناختی، دوماهنامۀ جستارهای زبانی، سال هفتم، شمارۀ سوم، 129-148.
نجفی، ابوالحسن (1387). فرهنگ فارسی عامیانه،تهران، نیلوفر.
وحیدیان‌کامیار، تقی (1351). در زبان فارسی فعل مرکب نیست، مجموعه سخنرانی‌های دومین کنگرۀ تحقیقات ایرانی (ص. 264-268). مشهد، دانشگاه مشهد.
وحیدیان‌کامیار، تقی (1356). نقدی بر تاریخ زبان فارسی و نکاتی دربارۀ فعل مرکب، نشریۀ ادبیات دانشکدۀ ادبیات جندی‌شاپور اهواز.
Brugman, C. 1981. The story of 'over': Polysemy, semantics and the strudcture of the lexicon. MA thesis, University of California: Berkeley.
ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 2001. Light verbs and polysemy. Language Sciences, 23, 551-578.
Dowty, D. 1991. Thematic proto-roles and argument selection. Language, 67, 547 619.
Family, N. 2006. Explorations of semantic space: The case of light verb constructions in Persian. PhD dissertation, Ecole des Hautes Etude en Sciences Sociales: Paris.
ـــــــــــــــــــــــ. 2008. Mapping semantic spaces: A constructionist account of the “light verb” xordæn “eat” in Persian. In M. Vanhove (Ed.), From polysemy to semantic change: Towards a typology of lexical semantic associations (pp. 139-161). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Foley, R., Harly, H., & Karimi, S. 2005. Determinants of event type in Persian complex predicates. Lingua, 115(10), 1365-1401.
Goldberg, A. E. 1996. Words by default: Optimizing constraints and the Persian complex predicate. Proceedings of Berkeley Linguistic Society.
Goldberg, A. E. 2003. Words by default: The Persian complex predicate construction. In E. Francis, & L. Michaelis (Eds.), Mismatch: Form-function incongruity and the architecture of grammar (pp. 83-112). CSLI Publications.
Grimshaw, J., & Mester, A. 1988. Light verbs and θ-marking. Linguistic Inquiry, 19(2), 205-232.
Jespersen, O. (1940). A modern english grammar on historical principles. London: Allen & Unwin.
Johnson, M. 1987. The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination and reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. Knowing through the body. Philosophical Psychology, 4(1), 3-18.
Johnson, M. 1993. Moral imagination: implications of cognitive science for ethics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Karimi-Doostan, Gh. 1997. Light verb constructions in Persian. PhD dissertation, University of Essex: Essex.
ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 2001. N + V complex predicates in Persian. In N. Dehe, & A. Warner (Eds.), Structural aspects of semantically complex verbs (pp. 277-292). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. Light verbs and structural case. Lingua, 115(12), 1737-1756.
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 2008. Predicative nouns and adjectives. Grammar 3: The Journal of Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature, 3, 187-202.
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 2011. Separability of light verb constructions in Persian. Studia Linguistica, 65(1), 70-95.
Karimi, S. 1997. Persian complex verbs: Idiomatic or compositional. Lexicology, 3(2), 273-318.
Kövecses, Z. 2008. Metaphor and emotion. In R. W. Gibbs (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of metaphor and thought (pp. 380-396). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lakoff, G. 1987. Women, fire and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 1990. The invariance hypothesis: Is abstract reason based on image-schemas? Cognitive Linguistics, 1(1), 39-74.
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 1989. More than cool reason: A field guide to poetic metaphor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Langacker, R. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar, volume I: Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Mohammad, J., & Karimi, S. 1992. Light verbs are taking over: Complex verbs in Persian. Proceedings of the Western Conference on Linguistics (WECOL), (pp. 195-212).
Müller, S. 2010. Persian complex predicates and the limits of inheritance-based analyses. Journal of Linguistics, 46(3), 601-655.
Rosch, E. 1975. Cognitive representations of semantic categories. Journal of Experimental Psychology(104), 192-233.
ـــــــــــــــــ. 1978. Principles of categorization. In E. Rosch, & B. Lloyd (Eds.), Cognition and Categorization (pp. 27-48). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Rosch, E., & Mervis, B. 1975. Family resemblances: Studies in the internal structure of categories. Cognitive Psychology (7), 573-605.
Samvelian, P., & Faghiri, P. 2013. Re-thinking compositionality in Persian complex predicates. Proceedings of Berkeley Linguistics Society 39th Annual Meeting. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ. 2014. Persian complex predicates: How compositional are they? SemanticsSyntax Interface, 1(1), 43-74.
Talmy, L. 1985. Force dynamics in language and thought. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (pp. 293-337). Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
ــــــــــــــــ. 1988. Force dynamics in language and cognition. Cognitive Science, 12, 49-100.
ــــــــــــــــ. 2000. Toward a cognitive semantics, volume i: Concept structuring systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Ullman, S. 1951. The principles of semantics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Van Valin, R. D. 2005. Exploring the syntax–semantics interface. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Volume 8, Issue 2
January 2018
Pages 59-78
  • Receive Date: 04 February 2017
  • Revise Date: 07 April 2017
  • Accept Date: 10 October 2017
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2017