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Subjects, Agents, Experiencers, and Animates in Competition: Modern Greek Argument Order 


Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 219
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This article presents the results of a recall experiment on Modern Greek experiential verbs. The influence of the factors subjecthood, thematic role (agent, experiencer), and animacy on word order and their interaction is investigated with three different types of experiencer verbs, namely experiencer subject (ES) verbs, labile [±agentive] experiencer object verbs, and non-agentive experiencer object (EO) verbs. The experimental results show that while a tendency to preserve the preferred SVO order is visible with all examined verb classes, this effect is weakened by an experiencer-first preference for EO verbs. Furthermore, for EO verbs the crucial factor for the argument order preferences is the property [±agentive] of the stimulus while animacy does not exhibit an independent effect in our findings. These results support the separation of the three types of experiential verbs, which is suggested in psych-verb theories on the basis of their different syntactic behavior.