Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
You are here: Home Complex Frames

Complex Frames

  • The frames underlying some lexical units are best understood as comprising more than one frame, through simple frame inheritance, multiple frame inheritance with specifications of FE, binding, and frame composition:
    • Frame Inheritance
      The combinatorial properties of, say, empujar (push) are not only those determined by the unique meaning of the verb and the immediate frame in which it participates (CAUSE_TO_MOVE), but also by the fact that it is an action verb (involving agent, patient, optional instrument, etc.), and that it is an event verb (allowing specification of temporal and locational parameters). Thus properties of more general frames are inherited by more specific ones.
    • Multiple Frame Inheritance
      Compare despreciar (scorn), admirar (admire), criticar (criticize), and adular (flatter).  All of these verbs belong to a class of JUDGMENT verbs, involving one person passing judgment on the behavior of another. Of these, criticar and adular are also speaking verbs, and in these cases the Judge in the JUDGMENT frame is also the Speaker in the SPEAKING frame. In addition, while criticar allows non-identity of the Evaluee of the JUDGMENT frame and the Addressee of the SPEAKING frame as in Él me criticó en la prensa (He critized me in the newspapers), adular requires a single participant for both FEs.
      Consider the sense of discutir (argue), which inherits from both the frames DISPUTE and CONVERSATION. While discutir, like all CONVERSATION words, involves "reciprocal talk", some of its properties are inherited from the grammar of disputing or fighting. In this, it differs from other conversation verbs, like charlar (chat), comentar (comment), etc. Both DISPUTE and CONVERSATION frames, in turn, inherit the RECIPROCITY frame, which allows variable syntactic realization of the participants: either joint, as in Ellos discutieron (They argued), or disjoint, as in Él discutió con ella (He argued with her).  CONVERSATION is also heir to the SPEAKING frame, while DISPUTE inherits the ATTACKING frame.
    • Frame Composition
      In numerous cases a frame is complex because it contains another frame as one of its parts.  Compare Sacudió el mantel (He shook the tablecloth) and Sacudió las migas del mantel (He shook the crumbs out of the tablecloth).  The shaking (i.e. direct manipulation) is applied to the direct object in the first sentence, but is only a component of the full scene associated with the second sentence. We believe that Frame Semantics, combined with a feature-value representation of event structure, will provide new insights into much current work on this type of regular polysemy, which deals with patterns of valence variation.