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.


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