Expressive Object Constructions in English. A Corpus Based Analysis

  1. Montserrat Martínez Vázquez
Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses

ISSN: 0211-5913

Year of publication: 2014

Issue Title: Current issues in Research Communication in English

Issue: 69

Pages: 175-190

Type: Article

More publications in: Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses


This article aims to explore the way speakers report verbal and nonverbal communication in complex constructions of the type “She smiled her agreement” (Levin’s “Reaction Object Constructions”). These expressive constructions report the manifestation of a mental state transmitted by means of a sound or gesture. The speaker decodes the message into a condensed nominal object. The verb denotes the code, or manner of communication. The analysis of over 3000 corpus examples reveals different syntactic and semantic properties of this construction. Key words: reaction