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Light verb constructions in Germanic languages



The German term “Funktionsverbgefüge" ('light verb construction'; LVC) designates a combination of a noun phrase (with or without a preposition) with a light verb. The nominal and the verbal constituents build a semantic unit, e.g. German zur Entscheidung kommen, in Verbindung setzen, English to make a decision, to take a look and Dutch in aanmerking komen, ter beschikking staan. LVCs constitute an interesting research topic which can be studied from different perspectives. They can express different aspectual dimensions (causative, durative, inchoative, etc.), are more or less suitable for passivization and sometimes fill a semantic gap. Interesting research issues include their definition, the delimitation criteria – for instance between collocations and LVCs – as well as the typology of their constituents (preposition, article, nominal constituent and light verb). LVCs are also in competition with simple verbs and the question arises whether both ways of expression are interchangeable and semantically identical. From a more applied perspective, LVCs constitute a great challenge for foreign language learners. More specifically, the selection of a specific light verb, which can be among others a posture or placement verb like German stehen, setzen, versetzen, etc., is far from easy for learners. In spite of similarities between Germanic languages like German, Dutch and English, there are several differences in the formation and the use of these constructions. This makes a comparison of LVCs within Germanic and other languages another interesting issue.


De Knop Sabine, Hermann Manon.


linguistic typology / light verb constructions / phraseology / Germanic languages.


Ferran Suner Munoz (Université catholique de Louvain)
Maarten Lemmens, Université de Lille III
Julien Perrez, Université de Liège
Elmar Schafroth, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf
Jounir Rostila, University of Helsinki
Antje Heine, Universität Greifswald
Alain Kamber, Université de Neufchâtel
Fabio Mollica, Universita degli Studi di Milano.