Alternation ‘Oblique Subject’ (Uncoded)

An alternation occurring with verbs of different aspectual classes (achievements, accomplishments, activities), where the prepositional non-core argument (i.e., the adjunct) of the original transitive pattern occurs as subject and the original agent (A) is no longer expressed. It comprises different subtypes, such as the Instrument subject alternation (e.g., la palla ruppe la finestra, 'the ball broke the window'), the Instrument subject alternation with object omission, where the predicate refers to the activity itself as carried out by an Instrument, and confined to modal or negative polarity contexts (e.g., il coltello non taglia bene, 'the knife does not cut well'), the Locatum subject alternation (e.g., i quadri riempivano la casa, 'the pictures filled the house'), the Possessor subject (e.g., la magrezza di Mario spaventa, 'Mario’s skinniness frightens') (Levin 1993: 76-77; 79-83, Lo Duca 2000 for Italian).

Verb Meaning Verb form Basic coding frame Derived coding frame Occurs Comment # Ex.