Annotation guidelines
PARSEME corpora of multiword expressions - version 1.2 (2020)
PARSEME shared task on semi-supervised identification of verbal multiword expressions - edition 1.2 (2020)


Light verb constructions (LVC)

Light verb constructions (LVC) constitute a universal category. We retain the following key characteristics:

  1. They are formed by a verb v and a (single or compound) noun n, which either directly depends on v (and possibly contains a case marker or a postposition), or is introduced by a preposition.
    In case of Hindi, the noun can be replaced by an adjective which is morphologically identical to an eventive noun. If you annotate Hindi, everywhere is this page when the noun is referred to, you should read the noun or the adjective.
    • вземам решение to make a decision
      държа под контрол to keep under control
    • zum Einsatz kommen to the use come to be called into action
      eine Rede halten a speech hold to give a speech
    • παίρνω μία απόφαση make a decision
      δίνω στα νεύρα give to the nerves
      δίνω τη χαριστική βολή
    • to give a lecture → verb + direct-object noun
      to come into bloom → verb + prepositional-object noun
      to make a high five → verb + compound noun
    • hacer una promesa make a promise to make a promise
      poner en peligro put in danger endanger, jeopardise→ verb + prepositional-object noun
      tener dolor de cabeza have pain of head to have a headache → verb + compound noun
    • lan egin work do to work, aurrera egin front-to do to go ahead
    • faire une présentation make a presentation → verb + direct-object noun
      procéder à une analyse proceed to an analysis to make an analysis → verb + prepositional-object noun
      faire un faux pas make a faux-pas → verb + compound noun
    • stupiti na snagu step into force come into force
      držati predavanje to hold a speech to give a speech
    • chiamare in causa to_call in cause to single out
      fare una passeggiata to_make a walk to have a walk
    • odnieść sukces carry-away success to be successful
      mieć wyrzuty sumienia to have reproaches of conscience to blame oneself
      wykonać rzut karny to perform a penalty kick
    • fazer um aborto to make an abortion → verb + direct-object noun
      estar com fome be with hunger to be hungry → verb + prepositional-object noun
      fazer uma mesa redonda make a table round to have a round table (discussion) → verb + compound noun
    • a duce dorul to carry yearning.the to miss somebody
      a da divorț to give divorce to divorce
      a da în clocot to give in boil to come to the boil
      a da în fiert to give in boil to come to the boil
    • biti v dvomih to be in doubts → verb + prepositional-object noun, to doubt
      imeti predavanje to give a lecture → verb + direct-object noun
    • дати на знање dati na znanje give on knowledge to inform
      поднети жалбу podneti žalbu to submit an appeal to file a complaint
  2. The (single or compound) noun n is predicative and refers to an event (e.g. decision, visit) or a state (e.g. fear, courage). Predicative nouns are nouns that have semantic arguments, that is, they express predicates whose meaning is only fully specified by their semantic arguments:
    • вземам решение to make a decision → noun refers to an act or event
      давам съгласие to give permission → noun refers to an act or event
      имам притеснения to have concerns → noun refers to a feeling or state
      имам готовност to be ready → noun refers to a feeling or state
    • eine Entscheidung treffen to make a decision → noun refers to an event
      Angst habento have fear→ noun refers to a state
    • παίρνω μία απόφαση, κάνω βόλτα → noun refers to an event
      έχω αγωνία, κάνω κουράγιο → noun refers to a state
    • to make a decision → noun refers to an event, there are 2 arguments: a decider and a choice
      to pay a visit → noun refers to an event, there are 2 arguments: a visitor and a visited place/person
      to have fear→ noun refers to a state, there are 2 arguments: somebody who is afraid and something frightening
      to have courage → noun refers to a state, there is 1 argument: the courageous person
    • dar un consejo give an advise to give advice→ noun refers to an event, there are 3 arguments: an adviser, and advised person, and a theme
      tener valor to have courage→ noun refers to a state, there is 1 argument: the courageous person
    • negar egin cry do to cry → noun refers to an act or event
      lo egin sleep do to sleep → noun refers to a state
    • donner un conseil give advice→ noun refers to an event, there are 3 arguments: an adviser, and advised person, and a theme
      avoir du courage to have courage→ noun refers to a state, there is 1 argument: the courageous person
    • donijeti odluku to bring a decision to make a decision → noun refers to an event
      imati osjećajto have feeling→ noun refers to a state
    • fare una domanda → noun refers to an event
      avere paura, avere coraggio → noun refers to a state
    • prowadzić rozmowy to lead conversations to lead negotiations→ the noun refers to an event
      mieć rację to have rightto be right→ the noun refers to a state
    • fazer uma prece to make a prayer → noun refers to an event, there are 2 arguments: the prayer and the thing she/he prays for
      ter sintomas to have symptoms → noun refers to a state, there are two arguments: the person having symptoms and the disease causing these symptoms
    • a lua o decizie to make a decision, a face o vizită to pay a visit→ noun refers to an event
      a avea curaj → noun refers to a state
    • biti v dvomih to be in doubts to have doubts → noun refers to a state
      imeti predavanje to give a lecture → noun refers to an event
    • донети одлуку doneti odluku to bring a decision to make a decision (to decide) → the noun refers to an event
      имати право imati pravo to have rightto be right→ the noun refers to a state
  3. We retain two sub-categories of verbs, which define two sub-categories of LVCs:
    • The verb v is "light" in that it contributes to the meaning of the whole only by bearing morphological features: person, number, tense, mood, as well as morphological aspect. This implies that v's syntactic subject is n's semantic argument. In this case, we annotate the construction as LVC.full.
      • давам изявление give a statement to make a statement
        нанасям щети spread damages to cause damages
      • παίρνω μία απόφαση, κάνω βόλτα , έχω αγωνία, έχω πονοκέφαλο → noun refers to a state
      • to make a presentation
        to pay a visit
        to have rights
        to have a headache
        to carry out a destruction
      • dar un paseo give a walk to go for a walk
        tener valor to have courage
        tener dolor de cabeza have pain of head to have a headache
      • faire une présentation to make a presentation
        faire une visite to make a visit
        avoir le droit to have the right
        avoir un mal de tête to have a headache
      • napraviti pogrešku to make a mistake
      • fare una presentazione to make a presentation
        fare una visita to make a visit
        avere il diritto to have the right
        avere un mal di testa to have a headache
      • odnieść sukces carry-away success to be successful
        mieć rację to have rightto be right
        cierpieć na anemię to suffer from anemia
      • realizar uma apresentação to make a presentation
        fazer uma visita to make a visit
        ter um direito to have a right
        ter dor de cabeça have pain of head to have a headache
      • a face o prezentareto make a presentation
        a face o vizită to pay a visit
      • imeti predavanje to have a lecture to give a lecture, biti mnenja to be of opinion to have an opinion, biti v pomoč to be in help to be helpful, delati razlike to make differences to differentiate
      • вршити претрес vršiti pretres to do a search to conduct a search
        имати право imati pravo to have rightto be right
    • The verb v is "causative" in that it indicates that the subject of v is the cause or source of the event or state expressed by n. In other words, the noun has semantic arguments expressed as non-subject elements in the sentence, and the subject of the verb brings an additional information, indicating the cause of source of the event/state. In this case, we annotate the construction as LVC.cause. These constructions are expected to be less idiomatic than other VMWEs and can be understood as complex predicates with a causal support verb.
      • давам възможност to give an opportunity
        нося късмет to bring luck
      • κάνω αιδικίαmake injustice
        δίνω ικανοποίησηgive satisfaction
        προκαλώ καταστροφήcause distruction
      • to grant rights
        to give a headache
        to provoke a reaction
      • dar derecho to grant the right
        dar vértigo give vértigo to make dizzy
        causar un accidente to provoke an accident
      • donner le droit to grant the right
        donner le vertige give the vertigo to make dizzy
        provoquer un accident to provoke an accident
      • dati mogućnost to give an opportunity
      • dare il diritto to grant the right
        dare le vertigini to_give the vertigo to make dizzy
        causare un incidente to provoke an accident
      • to sprawia nam kłopot this causes us trouble
        nakłada obowiązek na użytkowników put a duty on the users
        dać prawo to give the rightto grant the right
        narazić na straty expose to losses
        stawiać komuś celto put an aim to someone to set a goal to someone
      • dar o direito to grant the right
        dar tontura give vertigo to make dizzy
        provocar um acidente to provoke an accident
      • a da dureri de cap to give pains of head to give a headache
      • dati ime nekomu to give (somebody) a name to name (somebody), narediti konec nečemu to make an end (to something) to end (something)
      • изнети мишљење izneti mišljenje to take out one's opinion to state one's opinion
        задати главобољу zadati glavobolju to cause a headacheto give a headache

The following decision tree should be applied to decide whether a candidate should be annotated as a LVC.full, LVC.cause or none.

LVC-specific decision tree:

  • Apply test LVC.0 - [N-ABS: Is the noun abstract?]
    • It is not an LVC, exit
    • Apply test LVC.1 - [N-PRED: Is the noun predicative?]
      • It is not an LVC, exit
      • Apply test LVC.2 - [V-SUBJ-N-ARG: Is the subject of the verb a semantic argument of the noun?]
        • Apply test LVC.3 - [V-LIGHT: The verb only adds meaning expressed as morphological features?]
          • It is not an LVC, exit
          • Apply test LVC.4 - [V-REDUC: Can a verbless NP-reduction refer to the same event/state?]
            • It is not an LVC, exit
            • It is an LVC.full
        • Apply test LVC.5 - [V-SUBJ-N-CAUSE: Is the subject of the verb the cause of the noun?]
          • It is not an LVC, exit
          • It is an LVC.cause

Note: test 10 [N-SEM] from the previous version of the guidelines (1.0) was considered unnecessary and has been abandoned in the current version of the guidelines.

Note: LVC tests are often hard to apply. If you hesitate at some intermediary test, continue to the next one, since the last tests of LVC.full and LVC.cause will help you reach your final decision.

Test LVC.0 - [N-ABS] Noun is abstract

Is the noun n abstract?

  • continue to next test
    • проблем problem, възможност opportunity, изявление statement, план plan
    • προτεραιότητα, θυμός,αγάπη,δυσκολία, λόγος,παρουσίαση,γέννηση
    • priority, anger, love, opinion, difficulty, speech, presentation, birth
    • paseo walk, derecho right, ilusión excitement, fe faith, duelo grief
    • pas step, édition edition, discours speech, explication explanation, lute fight
    • problem problem, mogućnost opportunity, ideja idea
    • priorità priority, rabbia anger, amore love, opinione opinion, difficultà difficulty, discorso discourse, presentazione presentation,
    • kłopot problem, wysokość height, praca work, prawo right, zysk profit
    • prioridade priority, festa party, fé faith, nascimento birth, distinção distinction, problema problem, gol goal (soccer)
    • răspuns answer, prezentare presentation
    • dvom doubt, mnenje opinion, ime name, vloga role, odločitev decision
    • мишљење mišljenje opinion, претрес pretres search, побуна pobuna rebellion, одлука odluka decision
  • it is not an LVC
    • правя торта to make a cake → a cake is a physical entity (not abstract)
      давам пари to give money → money is a physical entity (not abstract)
      подавам ръка to give out handto help in a difficult situation → hand is a physical entity (not abstract)
    • καρέκλα chair , τραπέζι table , χέρι hand , άνθρωπος human
    • chair, keyboard, hand, person
    • mesa table, silla chair, mano hand, foto picture,
    • aulki, teklatu, esku, pertsona
    • chaise chair, clavier keyboard, main hand, personne person
    • stol table, ruka hand, kruna crown
    • sedia chair, tastiera keyboard, mano hand, persona person
    • złożyć kartkę to fold a sheet→ a sheet is a physical entity (not abstract)
      złożyć broń to lay down arms→ arms is a physical entity (not abstract)
      bić pianę to beat foamto exaggerate about a problem→ foam is a physical entity (not abstract)
      wystawić fakturę to issue a bill→ a bill is a physical entity (not abstract)
      mieć brata to have a brother→ a brother is a physical entity (not abstract)
    • cadeira chair, teclado keyboard, mão hand, pessoa person, pedra rock
    • scaun chair, pian piano
    • oseba person, mačka cat, kapa hat, avtomobil car, roka hand
    • изнети јело izneti jelo to take out a dish→ a dish is a physical entity (not abstract)

Some concrete nouns may be predicative (test LVC.1). For instance, a relational noun such as daughter is semantically incomplete without its argument: daughter of X, so daughter is predicative. However, concrete predicative nouns should not pass test LVC.0.

Some nouns may have both concrete and abstract interpretations. For instance, money is concrete when it refers to banknotes (paper money, bills): I didn't have money so I paid by credit card. However, money is abstract when referring to a conventional value used in transactions between people: He spent a lot of money in the mall. If one cannot be sure that the noun is used in its concrete interpretation, test LVC.0 passes.

Test LVC.1 - [N-PRED] Noun is predicative

Does the noun n have at least one semantic argument, implying that it is a predicative noun?

  • continue to next test
    • поставям акцент to emphasize → event, with two arguments: the agent and the object being emphasized
      имам право → property, with one semantic argument: the possessor of the property
    • einen Besuch abstatten to pay a visit → event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      Angst haben to have fear → property with one semantic argument: the entity having fear
      einen Blick auf etwas werfen a glance at sth. throw to take a glance at sth → an event with two arguments the entity glancing and the entity glanced at
    • κάνω μία επίσκεψη to-make a visit pay a visit, visit → event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      έχω τη δυνατότητα to-have the ability to be able → property, with one core semantic argument: the entity having the ability
      έχω μίσος → state, with two arguments: the entity being in state hate and the entity hated
      βγάζω λόγο → event, with one obligatory argument: the entity making the speech
    • pay a visit → event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      have strength → property, with one semantic argument: the entity having strength
      take a glance at something → event, with two arguments: the entity glancing and the entity glanced at
      make a contribution → event, with two arguments: the contributor and the beneficiary (notice that contribution could refer to both the event and the thing being contributed, but we always prefer the former reading when possible)
    • hacer una visita make a visit to pay a visit → event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      tener valor to have courage → property, with one semantic argument: the entity having courage
      echar un vistazo a algo give a glance to something to take a quick look at something → event, with two arguments: the entity glancing and the entity glanced at
    • bisita egin visit do to pay a visit event with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      itxaropena ukan hope have to hope, to have hope event with one single argument: the person who hopes
    • avoir du courage to have courage→ state(property), with one argument: the entity having courage
    • imati osjećaj to have a feeling → property with one semantic argument: the entity having feeling
      otići u posjet to go to a visit to someone to pay a visit → event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
    • fare una visita → event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      avere forza → property, with one semantic argument: the entity having strength
      dare uno sguardo a qualcosa → event, with two arguments: the entity glancing and the entity glanced at
    • złożyć wizytę to submit a visitto pay a visit→ event, with two arguments: the visitor and the visitee
      złożyć skargę to submit a complaintto make a complaint → event, with two arguments: the complaining person and the one he/she complains about
      mieć prawo to have the right→ state, with two arguments: the person having the right and the thing (s)he has the right to
      budzić zastrzeżenia to wake-up reservationsto provoke reservations→ state, with two arguments: the person having reservations and the object of the reservations
    • ter fome to have hunger to be hungry → property, with one argument: the entity that is hungry
      ter idade para fazer algo to have age (to do something) to be old enough (to do something) → state, with one argument: the entity that is old enough
      In PT, we consider that the following classes of predicative nouns pass the test: diseases (gripe, trombose, infarto), physical sensations (fome, sede, sono), emotions (medo, paixão, nojo), cognitive entities internal to the cognizer (ideia, opinião, preocupação), characteristics (coragem, teimosia, fraqueza), relations (contato, conflito, amizade) and nouns expressing communication or speech acts (conversa, discussão, briga, conselho).
    • a face o vizită to make a visit to pay a visit → event, with one argument: the entity that visits
      a avea curaj to have courage → property, with one semantic argument: the entity having courage
    • imeti predavanje to give a lecture → event, with two arguments: a lecturer and the people who are attending the lecture
    • поднети жалбу podneti žalbu to submit an appeal to file a complaint → event, with two arguments: the complaining person and the one he/she complains about
      имати право imati pravo to have the right → state, with two arguments: the person having the right and the thing (s)he has the right to
  • it is not an LVC
    • Иван хвърли боклука Ivan threw out the garbage → physical entity (not event/state)
    • Joe macht einen Kuchen→physical entity (not event/state), even though Joe could be considered a semantic argument
    • ο Γιάννης βγάζει τα ρούχα του → physical entity (not event/state)
    • Joe makes a cake → the noun is a physical entity that does not pass test LVC.0, even though Joe could be considered its semantic argument
      Joe experienced a tornado → the noun is an event, but has no semantic arguments
      Joe has a lot of money → the noun is abstract and Joe could be considered its semantic argument, but we consider that money (as well as other goods such as car and bananas) can exist independently of a possessor, so the possessor (owner) should not be considered as semantic argument of money
    • Ana tiene una bicicleta Anna has a bycicle → noun is not abstract, so it does not pass test LVC.0
      Ana hace una foto Ana takes a picture → noun is not abstract, so it does not pass test LVC.0
    • pastela egin cake make to make a cake> → physical entity (not event/state)
    • Anna a un vélo Anna has a bycicle → noun is not abstract, so it does not pass test LVC.0
      Anna affronte la tempête Anna faces the storm → noun is abstract but has no arguments
    • Ivan ima olovku Ivan has a pencil → noun is not abstract, so it does not pass test LVC.0
    • Joe fa un dolce → physical entity (not event/state), even though Joe could be considered its semantic argument
      Joe ha vissuto un tornado → event, but has no semantic argument
    • przetrwać burzę to survive a storm burza storm has no semantic erguments although it is abstract
    • quebrar a cabeça to break one's head to rack one's brain → physical entity, does not pass test LVC.0
      In PT, we consider that the following classes of abstract nouns do not pass this test: informational content that do not require agents (informações, notícias), natural phenomena (chuva, neve, tornado).
    • Joe a făcut o prăjiturăJoe made a cake → physical entity (not event/state), even though Joe could be considered its semantic argument
    • Janez ima avto → the person that has a car could be considered as a semantic argument, but the car is not an event or a state
    • преживети земљотрес preživeti zemljotres to survive the earthquake земљотрес zemljotres earthquake has no semantic erguments although it is abstract

We only retain nouns n that have at least one semantic argument, which we define as a semantically mandatory and specific participant of the event or state expressed by the predicative noun.

Sometimes, it might be useful to consider verbs and adjectives derivationally related to the noun to reason about its semantic arguments.

Test LVC.2 - [N-SUBJ-N-ARG] Verb's subject is noun's semantic argument

Is the subject of the verb a semantic argument of the noun? In other words, is the verb linking the predicative noun to one of its semantic arguments that occurs as the subject of the verb?

  • continue to next test
    • Иван изнесе доклад Ivan presented a report → Иван is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (agent) of the activity
      Президентът получи покана за посещение в Германия The president received an invitation to visit Germany → Президентът president is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the receiver) of the invitation
      Президентът получи награда Тhe president received an awardПрезидентътpresident is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the receiver) of наградаaward
    • ο Γιάννης έκανε μία παρουσίαση στο αφεντικό του John made a presentation to his boss→ ο Γιάννης John is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the presenter) of the noun
    • John made a presentation to his boss → John is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the presenter) of the noun
    • María dio un paseo María went for a walk → María is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the walker) of the noun
    • Max fait une promenade Max takes a walk → Max is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the walker) of the noun
    • Helena je otišla u posjet prijateljici Helena payed a visit to a friend → Helena is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the visitor) of the visit
      Susjed jedobio dozvolu za gradnju Neighbour received a permission for construction → Neighbour is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the receiver) of the permission
    • Jan złożył wizytę Marii Jan payed a visit to Maria → Jan is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the visitor) of the visit
      Piotr dostał pozwolenie and budowę Piotr received a permission for construction → Piotr is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the receiver) of the permission
      Beata ma marzenia o spokoju Beata has dreams about peace → Beata is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the possessor) of the dreams
      wyborcy ponoszą za to winę the electorate bears the responsibility for this→ wyborcy electorate is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the agent) of the guilt
      ustawa budzić zastrzeżenia the law wakes-up reservationsthe law raises reservationsustawalaw is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the theme) of zatrzeżeniareservations
    • Felipe tomou dois banhos Felipe took two showers → Felipe is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the person taking a shower) of the noun
    • Ion i-a făcut o prezentare șefului său Ion made a presentation to his boss→ Ion is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument (the presenter) of the noun
    • In Janezovo predavanje o slovenski kulturi za študente prevajalstva, the 3 syntactic arguments are expressed as a modifier with a possessive marker (Janezovo Janez's) and prepositional phrases (o slovenski kulturi on Slovene culture and za študente prevajalstva for students of translating )
    • Бранко је добио постављење Branko je dobio postavljenje Branko was appointed to a position → Branko is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument of the appointment (receiver)
      Јелена је Бранку узвратила посету Jelena je Branku uzvratila posetu Jelena returned Branko's visit. → Jelena is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument of the visit (visitor)
  • Go to test LVC.5
    • Приятелят на Мария прекъсна нейния доклад Maria's friend interrupted her report→ Maria's friend, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of the report, since a report does not necessarily have an interrupter
    • το αφεντικό του Γιάννη διέκοψε την παρουσίασή του John's boss interrupted his presentation → το αφεντικό του Γιάννη John's boss, that is, the subject of the verb διέκοψε, is not a semantic argument of the noun predicate παρουσίαση presentation, since a presentation does not necessarily have an interrupter
    • John's boss interrupted his presentation → John's boss, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of the presentation, since a presentation does not necessarily have an interrupter
      The report provides information about the economy → information only has one argument, which is its topic. The provider/source of an information is not one of its semantic arguments.
    • El periodista interrumpió el discurso The journalist interrupted the speech → The journalist, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of the speech, since a speech does not necessarily have an interrupter
      El informe facilita información clave the report provides crucial information → information only has one argument, which is its topic. The provider/source of an information is not one of its semantic arguments.
    • Le journaliste a interrompu le discours The journalist has interrupted the speech → The journalist, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of the speech, since a speech does not necessarily have an interrupter
      Le rapport fournit des informations cruciales the report provides crucial information → information only has one argument, which is its topic. The provider/source of an information is not one of its semantic arguments.
    • Učenici su prekinuli le predavanjeStudents have interrupted the lecture → Students, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of the speech, since a speech does not necessarily have an interrupter
    • Marek dał mi prawo wyboru Marek gave me the right to choose→ Marek is the subject of the verb and but not a semantic argument of the right (a right usually does not need to be grated)
      Incydent ten podważył zaufanie wyborców do kandydata This fact undermined the electorate's confidence in the candidate→ Incydent event is the subject of the verb and but not a semantic argument of the confidence
      komisja przeprowadziła wybory the committee carried out the vote→ komisja committee is the subject of the verb but not a semantic argument of wybory vote, which only requires the voters and the matter of the vote
    • O jornalista interrompeu a inauguração The journalist has interrupted the inauguration → The journalist, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of an inauguration, since an inauguration does not necessarily have an interrupter
      O relatório traz informações polêmicas the report provides polemic information → information only has one argument, which is its topic. The provider/source of an information is not one of its semantic arguments.
    • To define a predavanje lecture one needs to mention three participants: the presenter, the audience and the topic of the presentation. In other words, the existence of a lecture implies the existence of its arguments.
    • Демонстранти су прекинули говор Demonstranti su prekinuli говор Protesters interrupted the speech→ Protesters are the subject of the verb but not a semantic argument of the speech (a speech does not necessarily have an interrupter)
      комисија је спровела гласање komisija je sprovela glasanje the committee carried out the voteкомисија komisija committee is the subject of the verb but not a semantic argument of гласање glasanje vote, which only requires the voters and the matter of the vote

It is not always easy to determine if the verb's subject is an argument of the noun. You can use the former syntactic version of this test to verify your intuitions.

Test LVC.3 - [V-LIGHT] Verb with light semantics

Is v semantically light, that is, is the semantics that v adds to n restricted to: (i) what stems from its morphological features (e.g. future, plural, perfective aspect, etc.), (ii) pointing at the semantic role of n played by v's subject?

  • continue to next test
    • вземам решение make a decision вземам adds no meaning to решение decision besides that of performing an act
      държа реч to make a speech държа adds no meaning to реч besides that of performing an act
      поемам отговорност to take responsibility поемам adds no meaning to отговорност besides that of having a property
    • eine Entscheidung treffen a decision meet to make a decision treffen adds no meaning to Entscheidung besides that of performing an activity
      Angst haben to have fear haben adds no meaning to Angst besides that of having a property.
    • κάνω μία βόλτα take a walkκάνωmake adds no meaning to βόλτα walkbesides that of performing an activity
      παίρνω μία απόφαση παίρνω take adds no meaning to απόφαση decision besides that of performing an activity
      έχω άγχος have anxiety έχω have adds no meaning to άγχος anxiety besides that of having a property
      διενεργώ έλεγχο perform a check διενεργώ perform is a pure syntactic operator: in any context, it only bears tense and mood and never adds any sense to the noun
      διαπράττω ένα έγκλημα διαπράττω commit is a pure syntactic operator: in any context,it only bears tense and mood and never adds any sense to the noun
    • take a walk take adds no meaning to walk besides that of performing an activity
      make a decision make adds no meaning to decision besides that of performing an activity
      have fear have adds no meaning to fear besides that of having a property
      perform a check perform is a pure syntactic operator: in any context, it only bears tense and mood and never adds any sense to the noun
      commit a crime commit is a pure syntactic operator: in any context,it only bears tense and mood and never adds any sense to the noun
      pay a visit → the verb in its usual sense means 'to spend some money on a visit', but here it is not used in this sense and does not add any semantics to the "visiting" event
      deliver a speech → the verb in its usual sense means 'to move from one place to another', but here it is not used in this sense and does not add any semantics to the "speech" event
      undergo a surgery undergo adds no meaning to surgery besides indicating that the subject is the patient of the surgery
    • dar un paseo to take a walk dar adds no meaning to paseo besides that of performing an activity
      tomar una decisión to make a decisiontomar adds no meaning to decisión besides that of performing an activity
      tener miedo to have fear tener adds no meaning to miedo besides that of having a property
    • usain egin smell do to smell, to sniffthe verb egin adds no meaning to the noun usain besides that of performing an activity
      lo egin sleep do to sleepthe verb egin adds no meaning to the noun lo besides that of performing an activity
    • ils ont du courage they have some courage have adds no meaning to courage besides that of having a property
      ils reçoivent l’ordre de partir they receive the order of leavingthey are ordered to leave receive adds no meaning to order besides indicating that the subject is the recepient of the order
      il a subi une intervention chirurgicale he has undergone an intervention surgery he underwent surgery undergo adds no meaning to surgery besides indicating that the subject is the patient of the surgery
    • imati hrabrost to have courage imati have adds no meaning to hrabrost courage besides that of having a property
      donijeti odluku to make a decision donijeti in its usual sense means 'to bring', but here it is not used in this sense and does not add any semantics to event
    • fareuna passeggiata fare adds no meaning to passeggiata besides that of performing an activity
      prendere una decisione prendere adds no meaning to decisione besides that of performing an activity
      avere paura avere adds no meaning to paura besides that of having a property
      eseguire un controllo eseguire is a pure syntactic operator: in any context, it only bears tense and mood and never adds any sense to the noun
      commettere un crimine commettere is a pure syntactic operator: in any context,it only bears tense and mood and never adds any sense to the noun
      fare una visita → the verb in its usual sense means 'make', but here it is not used in this sense and does not add any semantics to the "visiting" event
      fare un discorso → the verb in its usual sense means 'to make', but here it is not used in this sense and does not add any semantics to the "speech" event
    • oddać hołd to give-back tributeto pay tribute oddać give-back adds no meaning to hołdtribute besides that of performing an activity
      wystąpić z wnioskiem to stand out with a proposal to put forward a motion wystąpić z stand out with adds no meaning to wniosekmotion besides that of performing an activity
    • mover uma ação judicial to move a lawsuit to sue to move adds no meaning to lawsuit besides that of performing an activity
      apresentar uma lesão present a lesion to have a lesion to present adds no meaning to lesion besides that of having a property
      estar com medo be with fear to be afraid to be with adds no meaning to fear besides that of being in a state
    • a avea curaj to have courage avea adds no meaning to curaj besides that of thaving a property
      a lua o decizieto make a decision lua adds no meaning to decizie besides that of performing an activity
    • Janez ima predavanje Janez lectures → Janez is the subject of the verb and a semantic argument of the noun (the lecturer)
    • одати почаст odati počast give away tributeto commemorate/pay tribute одати odati give away adds no meaning to почаст počast tribute besides that of performing an activity
      изрећи казну izreći kaznu to pronounce a sentence изрећи izreći to pronounce adds no meaning to казну kaznu sentence besides that of performing an activity
  • it is not an LVC
    • започвам играта start the game, start playing започвам start adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • eine Rede beginnen to begin a speech beginnen adds an aspectual meaning to the noun Rede
    • ξεκινάω μία προσπάθειαstart an attempt ξεκινάω start adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • to start a walk start adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • comenzar un discurso to begin a speech comenzar adds an aspectual meaning to the noun discurso
    • oinez hasi foot-by start to start walkingthe verb hasi adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • donner du courage to give courage donner indicates the source of the courage (this would not pass test LVC.2)
      donner son avis to give one's opiniondonner adds the information that the opinion is communicated
      Ce fait attire l'attention de la justice This fact attracts the attention of the justice attirer indicates the attention starts
    • početi igru start the game početi start adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • cominciare un ballo to start a dance cominciare adds an aspectual meaning to the noun ballo
    • wymierzyć sprawiedliwośćto measure justiceto do justicewymierzyćmeasure adds an aspectual meaning to sprawiedliwośćjustice
      przejść na emeryturęto cross to retirementto take retirementprzejść adds an inchoative (change-of-state) meaning to the noun
      propozycja budzi zastrzeżeniathe proposal wakes-up reservationsthe proposal raises reservationsbudzi wakes-up raises add an inchoative meaning to zastrzeżenia reservations
      dopełnić obowiązkuto fulfill one's dutydopełnićfulfill adds a fulfillment meaning to obowiązekduty
    • entrar com uma ação judicial to enter with a lawsuit to file a lawsuit to enter adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
      dar uma opinião to give an opinion to giveadds the meaning of communication which is not present in the name itself (one can ter uma opinião to have an opinion without ccommunicating it).
    • a începe muncato start work the to start working începe adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • Študent je prekinil njegovo predavanje The student has interrupted his lecture → The student, that is, the subject of the verb, is not a semantic argument of the lecture, since a lecture does not necessarily have an interrupter
    • отићи у пензију otići u penziju to leave to retirement to take retirement отићи otići adds an inchoative (change-of-state) meaning to the noun
      испунити дужност ispuniti dužnost to fulfill one's duty испунити ispuniti fulfill adds a fulfillment meaning to дужност dužnost duty

Note that this light semantics of the verb is either usual for that verb (i.e. the verb is a pure syntactic operator, like commit, perform), or occurs in the context of the particular noun (e.g. for pay in to pay a visit). Both types of verbs pass the test.

In our view of LVCs, we do not require a light verb to be "bleached", as it is sometimes described in the literature. We simply do not take into account the relation between the verb's use as a light verb and its other uses. While the specific meaning added by light verbs to the predicative nouns have been extensively studied and described (e.g. by Miriam Butt and Tafseer Ahmed), we do not adopt any fine-grained classification here. If you have a doubt about a verb's "lightness", proceed to the next test: if you can evoke the same event/state without using the verb, then it is considered light.

Test LVC.4 - [V-REDUC] - Verb reduction

Try to build an NP without the verb, in which v's subject s becomes n's dependent. You might need to test several prepositions (of, by, for, from), possessives (my, her, somebody's), postpositions, case markers, as long as you use no verb. Can this verbless NP refer to the same event or state as the candidate v+n construction does?

  • annotate as LVC.full
    • Иван пое отговорност Ivan took responsibility отговорността на Иван — both refer to the same property/event
      Иван взе решение Ivan made a decision решението на Иван — both refer to the same property/event
    • Paul hat eine Rede gehalten Paul has given a speech Paul's speech both refer to the same speech event
      Ich habe ihm einen Besuch abgestattet I have paid him a visit mein Besuchmy visit both refer to the same visiting event
    • ο Γιάννης έκανε μία παρουσίαση John made a presentation η παρουσίαση του Γιάννη John's presentation — both refer to the same presenting event
    • Paul had a walk Paul's walk — both refer to the same walking event
      I paid him a visit my visit to him — both refer to the same visiting event
      Hester gave birth to Pearl Pearl's birth to Hester — both refer to the same birthing event (note that the key criterion is that Hester, the subject of the verb, is a (prepositional) dependent of birth in the paraphrase)
      The party gave priority to senior members → the priority of senior members for the party — both refer to the same prioritization event
    • Pedro dio un paseo Pedro gave a walk Pedro took a walk el paseo de Pedro Pedro's walk— both refer to the same walking event
      El capitán da la orden de partir The captain gives the order to leave The general orders to leave la orden del capitán de partir The general's order to leave
    • Pellok bisita egin zidan → Pelloren bisita -- both refer to the same visiting event
    • Paul a fait une enquête Paul made an inquiryL'enquête de Paul Paul's inquiry
      Paul procède à une perquisition Paul makes a searchLa perquisition de/par Paul the search of/by Paul
      Le général donne l'ordre de partir The general gives the order to leave The general orders to leave l'ordre du général de partir The general's order to leave
      Les soldats reçoivent l'ordre de partir The soldiers receive the order to leave The soldiers are ordered to leavel'ordre aux soldats de partir The order to the soldiers to leave
      Jean souffre de troubles psychiques John suffers from psychic troubles Les troubles psychiques de Jean John's psychic troubles
      Jean présente une hypersensibilité John presents a hypersensibility John has a hypersensibilityl'hypersensibilité de Jean John's hypersensibility
      Paul reçoit des menaces de (la part de) Pierre Paul receives threats from (the part of) Peter Paul is threatened by Peterles menaces de Pierre à Paul Peter's threats to Paul
      Ce médicament présente un risque This medicine presents a risk This medicine poses a risk le risque de ce médicamentthis medicine's risk
      Ce fait attire l'attention de la justice This fact attracts the attention of the justice l'attention de la justice pour/sur ce fait the attention of the justice on/about this fact
    • Istraživač je donio zaključak The researcher made a conclusion njegov zaključak his conclusion both refer to the same event
    • Paolo ha fatto una conquistaPaul made a conquerla conquista di Paolo
      Il generale da l' ordinedi partire. The general gives the order to leaveThe general orders to leave L'ordine di/da parte del generale di partire
      Paolo riceve delle minacce da (parte di) Piero le minacce di Piero a Paolo
    • Obecni oddali hołd poległym The present gave-back tribute to the fallen The audience payed tribute to the fallenhołd obecnych the tribute of the audience
      Jan miał na myśli Marię Jan had on thought Maria Jan meant Mariamyśl JanaJan's thought
      Jan otrzymał wymówienieJan received a dismissalwymówienie dla Jana dismissal for Jan
      Inwestycja przynosi zyski the investment brings profitzyski z inwestycji profit from the investment
    • João cometeu um deslize o deslize do João — both refer to the same event
      O jogador cobrou um pênalti the player charged a penalty kick the player took a penalty kick o pênalti do jogador the player's penalty kick — both refer to the same event
      João tem consciência do perigo John has conscience of the danger John is aware of the danger a consciência do João sobre o perigo John's awareness of the danger — both refer to the same state
      João recebeu a remuneração John received the remuneration a remuneração do João John's remuneration — both refer to the same event
      O paciente recebeu a visita dos familiares The patient received the visit of the relatives a visita dos familiares ao paciente the visit of the relatives to the patient — both refer to the same event
      João apresenta lesões John presents lesions as lesões do João John's lesions — both refer to the same state
    • Paul a făcut o plimbarePaul had a walk plimbarea lui Paul Paul's walk — both refer to the same walking event
      i-am făcut o vizită I paid him a visit vizita mea — both refer to the same visiting event
    • imeti dvome to have doubts to doubt imeti have adds no meaning to dvomi doubts besides that of having a property
      delati razlike to make differences to differentiate delati in its usual sense means 'to make', but here it is not used in this sense and does not add any semantics to event
    • Професор држи предавање Profesor drži predavanje The professor is holding a lectureпрофесорово предавање profesorovo predavanje The professor's lecture
      Овај лек представља ризик Ovaj lek predstavlja rizik this drug presents a risk this drug poses a risk ризик од овог лека rizik od ovog leka risk of this drug this drug's risk
  • it is not an LVC
    • Иван хвърли поглед на вестника Ivan threw a glance at the newspaper #погледът на Иван върху вестника — different semantics; and requires a different preposition
    • Paul hat einen guten Eindruck gemachtPaul has made a good impression #Paul's Eindruck auf seine Freunde Paul's impression on his friends has a different semantics
    • ο Παύλος πήρε νέα από τον αδερφό του Paul got news from his brother #Τα νέα του Παύλου από τον αδερφό του #Paul's news from his brother — one cannot remove the verb because the sense of communication is missed, so the verb is not light. As a consequence, the verbless NP (Τα νέα του Παύλου) fails to refer to the original event (Paul got news)
    • Paul got news from his brother #Paul's news from his brother — one cannot remove the verb because the sense of communication is missed, so the verb is not light. As a consequence, the verbless NP (Paul's news) fails to refer to the original event (Paul got news)
    • Juan recibió la noticia de su hermano Juan got the news from his brother #La noticia de Juan — one cannot remove the verb because the sense of communication is missed, so the verb is not light. As a consequence, the verbless NP (la noticia de Juan) fails to refer to the original event (Juan recibió una noticia)
    • Hizlariak interesa piztu zuen Speaker interest switched-on The speaker awakened interest#Hizlariaren interesa, #the speaker's interest -- different semantics
    • Son comportement porte une atteinte grave à l'honneur des soldats His behaviour seriously jeopardises the soldiers' honnour #l'atteinte de son comportement the jeopardy of his behaviour
    • Petar je dobio poruku od direktora Petar received message from his boss #Petar's news from his boss — one cannot remove the verb because the sense of communication is missed, so the verb is not light. As a consequence, the verbless NP (Petar's message) fails to refer to the original event (Petar received message)
    • Michael Phelps pobił rekord sprzed 2 tysięcy latMichael Phelps broke the record from 2 thousand years ago→ #Michael Phelps' record
      Ulica nosi imię sławnego poety The street carries the forename of a famous poet The street carries the name of a famous poet.imię ulicy the forename of the street
      Adam jest tego samego zdania Adam is of the same opinion Adam has the same opinion #zdanie Adama Adam's opinion refers to the contents of his opinion, not to the fact of having an opinion
    • O jogador cobrou uma falta the player charged a foul the player took a free kick a falta do jogador the player's foul — the focus changes from taking a free kick to being one of the parts involved in a foul (it's a VID)
      O jogador provocou uma lesão the player provoked a lesion a lesão do jogador the player's lesion — In the reduced NP, the focus changes from hurting somebody else to getting hurt
      O músico apresenta suas composições the musician presents his compositions as composições do músico the musician's compositions — the reduced NP does not keep the sense of presenting, it is not refer to the same event as the verbal construction
    • Paul a făcut o impresie bunăPaul made a good impression #Impresia lui Paul despre soția sa Paul's impression on his wife— different semantics
    • to začeti predavanje to begin a lecture začeti to begin adds an aspectual meaning to the noun
    • Бранко је оборио рекорд у трци на 100 метара Branko je oborio rekord u trci na 100 metara Branko broke the record in 100m race→ #Бранков рекорд #Brankov rekord

This test has a simple formulation but its application has some important subtleties which are central to our definition of the LVC.full category. The goal of this test is to keep only constructions in which the predicative noun is an event or state, excluding "gray-zone" predicates.

First, if it is not possible to build an acceptable NP where the verb v's subject s becomes a dependent of the noun n, e.g. using any preposition, postposition and/or case marker, this means that the verb is not light, and the construction cannot be annotated as LVC.full. This may remove constructions in which there is control, that is, both the noun and the verb share the same subject. However, control is not sufficient to characterize an LVC.full. In other words, LVC.4 fails, the verb is not completely light, and you cannot annotate the construction as LVC.full, even if intuitively it resembles an LVC.full due to control:

  • Paul a l'air de dormir Paul has the air of to-sleep Paul seems to be sleeping *l'air de dormir de Paul is unacceptable
    Paul a eu l'occasion de dormir Paul has had the oportunity to sleep Paul had the oportunity to sleep *l'occasion de Paul de dormir is unacceptable
  • Zdravnik je postavil diagnozo The doctor made a diagnosis njegova diagnoza His diagnosis both refer to the same event
    Politik jedal napoved The politician made a forecast njegova napoved his forecast both refer to the same event

Second, the fact that the NP is acceptable does not suffice to characterise an LVC.full. Furthermore, the NP version in which the verb was omitted, if acceptable, must evoke the same event or state as the LVC. Here are some tricky examples and some recommendations about how to interpret them:

  • Имам по-голям брат I have an elder brother моят брат my brother refers to one member of the relation, and not to the state of brotherhood between both actants
    отправих покана към приятелите си I sent an invitation to my friendsпокана invitation can be interpreted both as the act of inviting and as its contents; for the first reason we count this candidate as LVC.full
  • Mary has a brother Mary's brother is a concrete NP referring to one member of the relation (does not pass LVC.0), and not to the state of brotherhood between both actants
    Mary sent a letter Mary's letter refers to a concrete object participating in the event (does not pass LVC.0), but not to the sending event itself
    Mary has an opinion and more generally, cases of have + a noun refering to the state of having a mental content (opinion, belief) → Mary's opinion is ambiguous between the fact that she has an opinion and the content of her opinion. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
    Mary made a speech and more generally, cases of make + a noun refering to a speech act → Mary's speech refers to the informational content produced or communicated during the speech act, but can also refer to the act itself. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
    Mary made a decision decision can refer to the deciding event (a quick decision) and/or to what is decided. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
  • María tiene un hermano María has a brother el hermano de María María's brother is a concrete NP referring to one member of the relation (does not pass LVC.0), and not to the state of brotherhood between both actants
    María envió una carta María sent a letter La carta de María María's letter refers to a concrete object participating in the event (does not pass LVC.0), but not to the sending event itself
    María dio un discurso María made a speech and more generally, cases of dar + a noun refering to a speech act → el discurso de María refers to the informational content produced or communicated during the speech act, but can also refer to the act itself. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
    María tomó una decisión María made a decision decisión decision can refer to the deciding event (a quick decision) and/or to what is decided. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
  • la compagnie a pris des mesures d'économie the company took some measures of savingthe company took cost-saving measures → the NP les mesures d'écononmie de la compagnie is ok, the semantic equivalence is difficult to judge, the "measures" seem to refer to cost-saving actions, so ok to annotated as LVC.full
  • mam starszego brata I have an elder brother mój brat my brother refers to one member of the relation, and not to the state of brotherhood between both actants
    Maria wysłała wiadomość Maria sent a message wiadomość Marii Maria's message refers to the contants of the message sent by Maria, rather than to the sending event itself
    Maria jest zdania, że Mary has the opinon that... zdanie Marii Mary's opinion refers to the content of the opinion, and not to the state of having an opinion
    miał na celu awans He had promotion on the aim His aim was a promotion jego cel refers to the aim inself, and not to the state of having a aim
    ta partia w wyborach miała większość this party had a majority in the elections#większość tej partii the majority of the party provokes a considerable shift in meaning
    złożył zeznania na policji he gave testimony on the police officejego zeznania can be interpreted both as the act of testimony and as its contents; for the first reason we count this candidate as LVC.full
  • Mojca jedala Tini priložnost Mojca gave Tina an opportunity #Mojčina priložnost Mojca's opportunity has a different meaning; if the verb is removed, the original meaning is lost, so the verb is not light.
  • Марија је послала поруку Marija je poslala poruku Marija sent a messageМаријина порука Marijina poruka Mariјa's message refers to the contants of the message sent by Maria, rather than to the sending event itself

Finally, some nouns, especially nominalisations, are ambiguous between events and their participants. For instance, a costruction may be an event (the construction of the bridge took 2 years) or its result (this bridge is a spectacular construction). In that case, if the verbless NP can refer to the event, then you should prefer this reading over the "participant" interpretation. For example, in John made a construction, you may ask if John's construction refers to the construction event or to its result. In this case, it can refer to the event, so it should be annotated as LVC.full.

Test LVC.5 - [V-SUBJ-N-CAUSE] Verb's subject is noun's cause

Is the subject of the verb expressing the cause of the predicate expressed by the noun? In other words, does the verb bring an additional participant to the scene, representing the source or cause of the event or state referred to by the noun?

  • annotate as LVC.cause
    • Иван даде възможност на Мария да представи картините си Ivan gave Maria the opportunity to present her paintings→ Ivan is not a semantic argument of възможност opportunity but he is the cause of the opportunity
    • to grant rights → X has the right to Y, the granter is not a semantic argument of rights, but it causes somebody to have the right to do someting
      to give a headache → X has a headache, the cause of the headache, indicated as the subject of give is not a semantic argument
      the new law provoked the destruction of the building → the destruction of X by Y, the reason for the destruction is indicated by the verb provoke, which is a prototypical causative verb. Here, the subject is not the agent of destruction, but its cause. Notice that if the sentence was the explosion provoked the destruction of the building, then the construction would be an LVC.full
      residents seek to build consensus on the development of the territory → the semantic argument of consensus is the topic on which everybody agrees, the subject of build consensus expresses an external participant responsible for the consensus to exist.
    • otorgar derechos to grant rights → X has the right to Y, the granter is not a semantic argument of rights, but it causes somebody to have the right to do someting
      dar dolor de cabeza → X has a headache, the cause of the headache, indicated as the subject of dar is not a semantic argument
      la nueva ley provocó la destrucción del edificio the new law provoked the destruction of the building → the destruction of X by Y, the reason for the destruction is indicated by the verb provocar to provoke, which is a prototypical causative verb. Here, the subject is not the agent of destrucción destruction, but its cause. Notice that if the sentence was la explosión provocó la destrucción del edificio the explosion provoked the destruction of the building, then the construction would be an LVC.full
    • zadati glavobolju to give a headache→ X has a headache, the cause of the headache, indicated as the subject of give is not a semantic argument
    • Marek dał mi prawo wyboru Marek gave me the right to choose→ Marek is not a semantic argument of prawo right but he is the cause of the right
      dać podstawy prawne to give legal foundation
      nakładać na kogoś powinność to put a duty on sb.
      narazić kogoś na straty to expose someone to losses
      stawiać komuś cel to set an aim to someone
      ślady krwi wzbudziły podejrzenia policji the traces of blood raised suspicion to the police
    • Bombardamentul a provocat moartea multor civili. The bombing provoked the death of many civilians.Many civilians (mulți civili) died and their death (moarte) was provoked by the bombing (bombardamentul)
    • Борко је Марији задао бриге Borko je Mariji zadao brige Borko gave to Marija worries Borko worried Marija → Marija has a headache, the cause of the headache, indicated as the subject of задао zadao give is not a semantic argument of бриге brige worries
  • it is not an LVC
    • Този инцидент подрони авторитета на кандидата This incident undermined the authority of the candidate→ Инцидентът incident is neither a semantic argument of the authority nor its cause
    • to relieve a headache → the subject of relieve is not what is causing a headache
      to give birth → tricky case, since the subject of give actually is a semantic argument of birth, so it cannot be its cause. This construction must be annotated as VID (it does not pass test VPC.4 either).
      excessive heat provokes fire → even though provoke prototypically expresses a cause, in this case fire is not predicative and should not pass test LVC.1, so the construction cannot be annotated as LVC.cause
    • calmar un dolor de cabeza to relieve a headache → the subject of calmar to relieve is not what is causing a headache
      dar a luz to give birth→ tricky case, since the subject of dar to give actually is a semantic argument of a luz, so it cannot be its cause. This construction must be annotated as VID (it does not pass test VPC.4 either).
      un calor excesivo provoca incendios excessive heat provokes fires→ even though provocar prototypically expresses a cause, in this case incendios is not predicative and should not pass test LVC.1, so the construction cannot be annotated as LVC.cause
    • Incydent ten podważył zaufanie wyborców do kandydata This fact undermined the electorate's confidence in the candidate→ Incydent event is neither a semantic argument of the confidence nor its cause (it is the opposite of the cause)
      komisja przeprowadziła wybory the committee carried out the vote→ komisja committee is neither a semantic argument of wybory vote not its cause
      mocny zapach uśpił czujność psów the strong scent lulled the vigilance of the dogs → the scent is the opposite of the cause of vigilance
    • căldura excesivă provoacă incendii → even though provocaprovoke prototypically expresses a cause, in this case incendiufire is not a predicate and should not pass test LVC.1, so the construction cannot be annotated as LVC.cause
    • Marija ima brata Marija has a brother Marijin brat Marija's brother is a concrete NP referring to one member of the relation (does not pass LVC.0), and not to the state of brotherhood between both actants
      Marija je poslala pismo Marija sent a letter Marijino pismo Marija's letter refers to a concrete object participating in the event (does not pass LVC.0), but not to the sending event itself
      Marija ima mnenje Marija has an opinion and more generally, cases of imeti to have + a noun refering to the state of having a mental content (mnenje, predstava, dvom opinion, idea, doubt ) → Marijino mnenje Marija's opinion is ambiguous between the fact that she has an opinion and the content of her opinion. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
      Marija je postavila vprašanje/trditev Marija posed a question/statement and more generally, cases of postaviti make + a noun refering to a speech act → Marijino vprašanje Mary's question refers to the informational content produced or communicated during the speech act, but can also refer to the act itself. We recommend that these cases should be annotated as LVC.full
    • Борко ће Марију ослободити брига Borko će Mariju osloboditi briga Borko freed Marija of her worries. → Borko, the subject of ослободити osloboditi relieve is not what is causing бриге brige worries

Constructions annotated as LVC.cause involve:

  1. verbs that are typically used to express the cause of predicative nouns in general (e.g. cause, provoke), or
  2. verbs that are only used to express the cause of particular predicative nouns (e.g. grant in to grant a right).

When the construction involves a typically causative verb (e.g. cause, provoke), it might seem counter-intuitive to annotate it as VMWE because it looks perfectly regular, not presenting any VMWE idiosyncrasy. However, it turned out difficult to distinguish idiosyncratic from regular LVC.cause, so both should be annotated, like for LVC.full. In other words, some LVC.cause constructions are compositional and can be understood as complex predicates with a causal support verb, regardless of their compositionality.

Typically causative verbs (e.g. cause, provoke) can sometimes be light. In this case, according to the LVC decision tree, LVC.full has priority over LVC.cause. For instance, the announcement provoked an unexpected reaction should be annotated as LVC.full and not LVC.cause, although provoke is a typically causative verb. Indeed, reaction has two arguments (reaction of X to Y), one of which is the subject of the verb (test LVC.2 passes). In other words, typically causative verbs may be used in either LVC.full or LVC.cause, depending upon whether the cause subject of the verb is a normal, canonical argument to the predicative noun (LVC.full) or an "external" non-canonical cause (LVC.cause).

Some verbs could be considered causative, but their interpretation goes beyond purely indicating the cause of the event/state. Therefore, you should NOT annotate as LVC.cause constructions involving:

  • verbs which encode a manner of causation:
    • to call a meeting entails communication to schedule the meeting
      to hold a meeting entails leadership
      to organize classes entails preparation
  • verbs which encode modality:
    • to allow dialogue entails permission
      to foster dialogue entails assistance
      to require dialogue entails necessity
  • aspectual verbs whose subject is a semantic argument of the noun:
    • we started the meeting
      we ended the meeting
      we continued the meeting

Problematic cases and remarks

Syntactic variants

The (single or compound) noun n functions as a regular syntactic dependent, so LVCs exhibit regular syntactic variants.

  • взема решениерешението, което президентът взе the decision that the president made
  • eine Entscheidung treffen → die Entscheidung die der Direktor zu treffen hatte.
  • παίρνωμία απόφαση → η απόφαση που πρέπει κάποιος να πάρει.
  • make a decision → the decision that the director has to make.
  • tomar una decisión → la decisión tomada por la directora.
  • erabaki bat hartu decision one take to make a decision→ zuzendariak hartutako erabakia director taken decision the decision (which was) made by the director
  • prendre une décision → la décision prise par la directrice.
  • donijeti odluku to make a decisionodluka koju je morao donijeti direktor the decison that the director had to make
  • prendere una decisione → la decisione che il direttore ha dovuto prendere.
  • wziąć udział to take participation.ACCto take part wzięcie udziału taking.GER participation.GENtaking part, biorący udział taking.PART participation.ACCtaking part
  • tomar banho take shower → o banho que eu tomei estava bom the shower which I took was good
  • a lua o decizieto make a decisiondecizia pe care directorul trebuie să o ia the decison that the director has to make.
  • dati ime nekomu to give (somebody) a name to name (somebody) → the object receives a name and this action implies that as a result he/she is named. Therefore person who gives a name causes that something is named. The subject of the verb is not its semantic argument.
    narediti konec nečemu to make an end (to something) to end (something) → the result of this action is that something is finished, which is caused by the subject of narediti to make
  • задати некоме бриге zadati nekome brige to give worries to sb. to worry sb. бриге које је Борко задао Марији brige koje je Borko zadao Mariji The worries Borko gave to Marija

As explained in the section on syntactic variants of VMWEs, all LVC tests should be applied to the canonical form, that is, one in which the verb is in active voice and in finite form. If there is no canonical form, this is an indication that the target construction might not be an LVC, but a verbal idiom instead.

Selection of the verb

In many cases of LVCs, it can be said that there is some degree of selection of the verb by the noun.

  • вземам решение to make a decision vs *вземам отговорност to take responsibility
    имам право to be right vs *притежавам право
  • eine Entscheidung treffen a decision meet make a decisionvs.*eine Entscheidung machen a decision make vs. *einen Beschluss treffen a resolution meet
  • κάνω διάλειμμα vs. #παίρνω διάλειμμα
  • have a walk vs *have a race
    run a race vs *run a walk
  • tomar una decisión take a decision make a walk vs *dar una decisión give a decision but darse/tomar una ducha give.self/take a shower
  • pauso eman step give to take a step vs. ?pauso egin step do
    bisita egin visit do to pay a visit vs. bisita eman visit give
  • faire une marche make a walk take a walk vs *procéder à une promenade perform a walk but faire/procéder à une enquête make/perform an inquiry
  • postaviti pitanje to put a question to pose a question vs *postaviti odgovor
  • prendere una decisione take a decision make a decisionvs.*fareuna decisione make a decision vs. *prendere una conclusione take a conclusion
  • wziąć udział to take participation vs. *pobrać udział
    mieć rację to have rightto be right vs. *posiadać rację to possess right
  • fazer uma prece to make a prayer vs. *dar uma prece to give a prayer but fazer/dar uma caminhada to make/give a walk
  • a da divorț to give divorce to divorce vs. *a oferi divorț
  • dati nasvet to give an advice → the subject of dati give cannot cause an advice
  • имати право imati pravo to have right to be right vs. *поседовати право *posedovati pravo to possess right

Yet some regularities exist. For example, large classes of nouns function with have (e.g. +property) or commit (+negative achievement). Therefore, we chose not to retain the selection of the verb as a criterion for LVC categorization. Instead, the decision tree should be applied to decide whether a candidate should be annotated as LVC.

Scope of annotation vs. literature on LVCs

Many authors distinguish support verbs from light verbs, still others differentiate between true light verbs and vague action verbs.

On the one hand, we take a narrower scope than what is usually considered in the literature by ignoring aspectual support verbs (except when aspect is morphological). We believe that aspectual verbs do contribute an additional (change of state) meaning to the expression, and most of the time they are completely productive, not forming interesting VMWEs. For instance, for the predicative noun walk, we will consider the light verb to have, but not the aspectual verbs to start, to pursue, to stop a walk. Thus, to have a walk is an LVC.full. Note that for some nouns such as bloom, which are in itself inchoative, we do consider to come into bloom as LVC.full, as both the verb and the noun are inchoative, so the verb does not add any semantics to the noun.

On the other hand we take a broader scope than what is usually considered in the literature by taking in cases in which the verb has light semantics per se (it only bears morphology, such as the tense and mood, in any case), which hence cannot be described as "bleached" as is usually said of support verbs. For instance, whereas to pay does not have its usual meaning in to pay a visit, it cannot really be said that commit does not have one of its meanings in commit a crime (note that commit can be used with any negatively charged achievement noun, e.g. suicide, crime, fraud, felony...). Nonetheless, we annotate to commit a crime as LVC.full since it passes all tests.

Verb and adjective paraphrase

One test often used in the literature is the existence of a morphologically related verb or adjective that means the same as the LVC. For instance, to make a visit is equivalent to to visit, to have an illness is equivalent to to be ill. Note however that it is neither sufficient nor compulsory:

  • some LVCs have no derivationally-related equivalents, such as to have a flu, to have faith and to commit a crime;
  • some constructions that are not LVCs do have a derivationally-related equivalent such as to write an email and to email;
  • some LVCs have derivationally-related equivalents that do not mean the same as the LVC, such as to make a face and to face, or that have different argumental structure from the LVC, such as to have a problem and to be problematic.

Nonetheless, it might be useful to reason about the derivationally-related equivalents to decide whether a noun is predicative in test LVC.1. Therefore, here are some useful questions that might help deciding about the predicative nature of the noun in the LVC candidate

Verb paraphrase Is the abstract noun derivationally related to a verb with the same semantics? Then, there is probably a semantic argument, which coincides with the subject of the verb, so test LVC.1 passes:

  • вземам решение to make a decision = решавам to decide
    правя грешка to make a mistake = греша/сгрешавам to make a mistake
  • ο Γιάννης παίρνει μία απόφαση John makes a decision = ο Γιάννης αποφασίζει John decides
    ο Γιάννης κάνει ένα ταξίδι John makes a trip = o Γιάννης ταξιδεύει
    ο Γιάννης έχει θάρρος John has courage = ο Γιάννης είναι θαρραλέος John is courageous → and, more generally, characteristics and attributes
    ο Γιάννης έχει πείνα/δίψα John has hunger/thirst = ο Γιάννης πεινάει/διψάει John is hungry/thirsty → and, more generally, physical sensations
    ο Γιάννης έχει πάθος/φόβο/θυμό John has passion/fear/anger = ο Γιάννης παθιάζεται/φοβάται/θυμώνει John is passionate/afraid/angry → and, more generally, feelings, emotions, states
  • John makes a decision = John decides
    John has a walk = John walks
  • Juan toma una decisión Juan makes a decision = Juan decide Juan decides
    Juan da un paseo Juan takes a walk = Juan pasea Juan walks
  • Jonek erabakia hartu du = Johen erabaki du John decision-the taken has = John decided has John has made a decision = John has decided
  • Ivan donosi odluku Ivan takes decision = Ivan odlučujeIvan decides
    Janica jeodnijela pobjedu Janica carried away a win = Janica je pobijedila Janica won
  • Jan podejmuje decyzję John takes decision = Jan decyduje John decides
    Ewa odniosła zwycięstwo Eva carried away a victory = Ewa zwyciężyła Eva won
  • Ion ia o decizie John makes a decision = Ion decide John decides
  • postaviti vprašanje to pose a questionvprašanje, ki ga je moral postaviti the question that he had to pose
  • Марко је донео одлуку Marko je doneo odluku Marko brought a decision Marko made a decision = Марко је одлучио Marko je odlučio Marko decided
    Марко је узео учешће Marko je uzeo učešće Marko took participation = Марко је учествовао Marko je učestvovao Marko participated

Adjective paraphrase: Is the abstract noun derivationally related to an adjective with the same semantics? Then, there is probably a semantic argument, which coincides with the noun that is modified by the adjective, so test LVC.1 passes.

  • имам смелост to have courage = съм смел to be courageous
    нямам търпение to not have patience = съм нетърпелив to be impatient
    нося отговорност to carry responsibility = съм отговорен to be responsible
  • ο Γιάννης έχει θάρρος John has courage = ο Γιάννης είναι θαρραλέος John is courageous → and, more generally, characteristics and attributes
  • John has courage = John is courageous → and, more generally, characteristics and attributes
    John has hunger/thirst = John is hungry/thirsty → and, more generally, physical sensations
    John has passion/fear/anger = John is passionate/afraid/angry → and, more generally, feelings and emotions
    John has problems/difficulties = Something is problematic/difficult for John → and, more generally, states
  • Juan tiene miedo Juan has fear = Juan es miedoso Juan is easily scared → and, more generally, characteristics and attributes
    Juan tiene hambre Juan has hunger = Juan está hambriento Juan is hangry → and, more generally, physical sensations
  • Anek itxaropena du = Ane itxaropentsu dago Ane hope has = Ane hopeful is Ane has hope = Ane is hopeful → and, more generally, characteristics and attributes
    Anek = Ane gosetuta Ane hunger has = Ane hungry is Ane has hunger = Ane is hungryand, more generally, physical sensations
  • imati strpljenja to have patience = biti strpljiv to be patient
    nositi odgovornost to carry responsibility = biti odgovoran to be responsible
  • mieć odwagę to have courage = być odważnym to be courageous
    mieć straty to have losses = być stratnym to have lost sth
    mieć sens to have a sense to make sense = być sensownym to be reasonable
  • avea curaj to have courage = fi curajosto be courageous
  • имати храбрости imati hrabrosti to have courage = бити храбар biti hrabar to be courageous

Synonym verb/adjective paraphrase: Does the abstract noun have a synonym/hypernym derivationally related to a verb or adjective with the same semantics? Then, the questions above can be applied to the synmonym verb/adjective.

  • Иван и Мария постигнаха консенсус Ivan and Maria reached a consensus = Ivan and Maria agreed consensus has no corresponding verb or adjective, but agreement is a synonym
  • έχω τη γνώμη I have the opinion I think = πιστεύω γνώμη opinionhas no corresponding verb or adjective, but πίστη,άποψη are synonyms
  • John and Mary reach a consensus = John and Mary agree consensus has no corresponding verb or adjective, but agreement is a synonym
    John has a chance to do something = John is likely to do something chance has no corresponding verb or adjective, but likelihood is a synonym
  • Anek min eman dio Joni = Anek Jon mindu du Ane pain given has to-Jon = Ane Jon hurt has Ane has hurt Jon
  • Radnici i uprava postigli su konsenzus workers and managment reached consensus = Radnici i uprava su se dogovorili workers and managment agreedkonsenzus consensus has no corresponding verb or adjective, but dogovor agreement is a synonym
  • mieć 190 cm wzrostu to have 190 cm of height to be 190 cm tall = mierzyć 190 cm tp measure 190 cm to be 190 cm tall
    dokonać inwazji to perform an invasion = wtargnąć to invade
  • da voie=permite
  • Маја има шансе да нешто уради Maja ima šanse da nešto uradi = Маја може нешто да уради Maja može nešto da uradi шанса šasna has no corresponding verb or adjective, but моћи/могућност moći/mogućnost is a synonym

The existence of a related verb is not a definitive tests, but a hint that the noun is probably predicative. Since determining whether a noun is predicative is tricky, we advise language teams to provide additional documentation and examples for borderline cases.

Checking if the subject is an argument with syntactic tests

The previous version of the guidelines had a syntactic test which you can still use to verify if the verb's subject is an argument of the noun. However, this test was considered hard to apply in the previous guidelines, and is not mandatory anymore.

The syntactic test consists in trying to add the semantic argument as a complement of the noun in the presence of the verb. In other words, does the noun n, in the presence of v, prohibit at least one syntactic argument a which it normally licensed in the absence of v?

An alternative formulation for this test is the following: Let s be the subject of v, and let r be the semantic role that s plays with respect to the noun n. Is it prohibited for r to be realized both by s and by a syntactic argument a of n, except when a is in the whole–part relation with s?
  • Петър Стоянов взе решението да подпише договора Ivan made the decision to sign the contract + решението на президента да подпише договора*Петър Стоянов взе решението на президента да подпише договора — the noun cannot be modified by the person performing the act/event (which is the subject)
  • Die Königin hat dem Premierminister einen Besuch abgestattet the Queen has paid a visit to the Prime Minister + ein Besuch der Dame beim Premierminister a visit of the Lady to the Prime Minister *Die Königin hat einen Besuch der Dame beim Premierminister abgestattet*The Queen paid a visit of the Lady to the Prime Minister — the visitor cannot be a modifier of visit
    Paul hat eine Entscheidung über das Budget getroffen Paul made a decision on the budget + die Entscheidung des Rates über das Budget the council's decision on the budget*Paul traf die Entscheidung des Rates über das Budget *Paul made the committee's decision on the budget — the decision maker cannot modify decision
  • ο πρωθυπουργός έκανε επίσημη επίσκεψη στον Αμερικανό πρόεδρο The Prime Minister paid a visit to the US President+ η επίσκεψη του πρωθυπουργού στον Αμερικανό πρόεδρο a visit of the Prime Minister to the US President*ο πρωθυπουργός έκανε επίσημη επίσκεψη του υπουργού στον Αμερικανό πρόεδρο *The Prime Minister paid a visit of the Minister to the US President — the visitor cannot be a modifier of επίσκεψηvisit
  • The Queen paid a visit to the Prime Minister + a visit of the Lady to the Prime Minister*The Queen paid a visit of the Lady to the Prime Minister — the visitor cannot be a modifier of visit
    Paul made a decision on the budget + the committee's decision on the budget*Paul made the committee's decision on the budget — the decision maker cannot modify decision
    Paul had a discussion with Mary+ Peter's discussion*Paul had Peter's discussion with Mary
    Bjarnson scored a goal + Arnason's goal*Paul scored Arnason's goal but Paul scored the goal of Iceland — the scoring entity can only modify goal in the last case, when they are part of the Iceland team
  • La reina hizo una visita al primer ministro The Queen paid a visit to the prime minister + una visita de la primera dama al primer ministro a visit of the first Lady to the prime minister*La reina hizo una visita de la primera dama al primer ministro The Queen paid a visit of the first lady to the first minister— the visitor cannot be a modifier of visita
    Pablo tomó una decisión con respecto al presupuesto Pablo made a decision on the budget + la decisión del comité con respecto al presupuesto the committee's decision on the budget*Pablo tomó la decisión del comité con respecto al presupuesto Pablo made the committee's decision on the budget— the decision maker cannot modify decisión
  • Ikasleek arreta jarri zioten irakasleari +lagunen arreta The-students attention put to-the-teacher + friends' attention The students paid attention to the teacher + their friends' attention*Ikasleek lagunen arreta jarri zioten irakasleari The students paid their friends' attention to the teacherthe person paying attention cannot be a modifier of arreta
  • La ministre a rendu une visite aux victimes + la visite de la ministre aux victimes*La ministre a rendu une visite du président aux victimes — the visitor cannot be a modifier of visite
    Bjarnson a marqué un but + le but d'Arnason*Paul a marqué le but d'Arnason but Paul a marqué le but de l'Islande — the scoring entity can only modify but (goal) in the last case, when they are part of the Iceland team
  • Učiteljica je donijela odluku u vezi s izletom The teacher made a decision regarding the excursion + učenikova odluka u vezi s izletom pupil's decision regarding the excursion*učiteljica je donijela učenikovu odluku u vezi s izletom — the decision maker cannot modify decision
  • Il primo ministro ha preso la decisione di dimettersi the Prime Minister decided to resign + le dimissioni del governo the resignation of the government*Il primo ministro ha preso la decisione del governo di dimettersi — the resigner cannot be a modifier of resignation
  • Paweł złożył rezygnację ze stanowiska dyrektora Paweł submitted a resignation from the position of the director Paweł tendered his resignation from the director position + rezygnacja Piotra *Paweł złożył rezygnację Piotra ze stanowiska dyrektora Paweł tendered Piotr's resignation from the director position - the resignation cannot be modified by the resigning person
    Paweł prowadzi rozmowy *Paweł prowadzi rozmowy Piotra Paweł leads Piotr's talks , Paweł prowadzi rozmowy komisji Paweł leads the talks of the commission - the discussing entity komisjacommission can only modify rozmowytalks if Paweł belongs to the commission.
    Jan otrzymał wymówienieJan received a dismissal + wymówienie dla Pawła dismissal for Paweł *Jan otrzymał wymówienie dla Piotra
  • João está tomando banho John is taking shower + o banho do Pedro Pedro's shower*João está tomando o banho do Pedro — the bath cannot be modified by a bath taker
    Pedro sofreu prejuízo com a compra Pedro suffered finantial loss with the purchase + o prejuízo do José José's finantial loss*Pedro sofreu o prejuízo do José com a compra — the financial loss cannot be modified by the affected entity
    A Maria fez um aborto Maria made an abortion + o aborto da Joana Joana's abortion#A Maria fez o aborto da Joana — the noun cannot be modified by another patient
    O médico realizou o parto com sucesso The doctor performed the childbirth with success + o parto do Dr. Pedro Dr. Smith's childbirth*O médico realizou o parto do Dr. Pedro com sucesso — the childbirth could be modified by the mother (patient) but not by another doctor (agent).
  • Paul a dat sfaturi surorii salePaul gave advice to his sister + sfatul lui Petre Peter's advicePaul a dat sfatul lui Petre surorii sale Paul gave Peter's advice to his sistersfatul the advice cannot be modified by its author
  • Aleš si dela skrbi Aleš makes worries Aleš has worries = Aleš je zaskrbljen Aleš is worried → and, more generally, feelings and emotions
  • Борко је водио расправу с Маријом Borko je vodio raspravu s Marijom Borko led a discussion with Marija Borko had a discussion with Marija + Петрова расправа +Petrova rasprava Borko's discussion*Борко је водио Петрову расправу с Маријом *Borko je vodio Petrovu raspravu s Marijom Borko had Peter's discussion with Marija

The rationale for this tests is that a semantic argument n cannot be realized as its syntactic dependent, since it is already realized as v's syntactic dependent instead (usually as v's subject). For instance the noun visit takes two semantic arguments, the visitor and the visited entity, as in the visit of the Queen to the Prime Minister. When used in to pay a visit, the visitor semantic argument is realized as the subject of to pay (The Queen paid a visit to the Prime Minister), and cannot be realized at the same time within the NP headed by visit (*The Queen paid a visit of the Lady to the Prime Minister).

Note that the syntactic formulation may be tricky to apply. It is sometimes possible to add the semantic argument as a complement of the noun in the presence of the verb, if we change the interpretation of the argument (and thus its thematic role). For instance, even though the construction John took Luke's decision may be acceptable, the interpretation would be comparative (John took a decision that Luke should have taken). Therefore, the test passes since the verb is still connecting a predicate (decision) to its argument (John, the decider).