REACTION OBJECT CONSTRUCTIONS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH
Keywords:reaction object, Levin, english, spanish, verbs of gestures, manner of speaking verbs
Reaction Object Constructions are alternations involving the transitive use of manner of speaking verbs and verbs of signs and gestures (She mumbled her adoration) paraphrased as “express a reaction by V-ing” (Levin 1993). Research on these constructions has been limited to English, often without a thorough discussion of their different elements. A closer look at examples extracted from the Corpus of Contemporary American English shows a wide variety of verbs and objects used in these constructions to denote different types of reported expressive acts. On the other hand, extensive searches of the Corpus de Referencia del Español Actual have revealed the existence of these conflated constructions in Spanish (Ella murmura su incredulidad), where the verbal event denotes the manner by which the second event – the nominalized expressive act – is produced. The data provided in this paper supports recent claims that Romance languages may use some of these “information-packed” constructions the way Germanic languages do.
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