Behavior-related unergative verbs

  • Fabienne Martin
  • Christopher Piñón


In languages such as French,  it is possible to derive from common or proper nouns unergative verbs that intuitively describe ways of behaving, for example, diplomatiser ‘behave like a diplomat’. This paper focuses on the semantics of these verbs, in particular, on the semantic contribution of the incorporated noun, by looking  at the entailment patterns between the verb (e.g. diplomatiser ‘behave like a diplomat’) and the corresponding noun (e.g. être (un/une) diplomate ‘be a diplomat’).  The analysis proposed explicitly captures the figurative  reading of être un/une diplomate ‘be a diplomat’,  the link between the meaning shift of N in this reading and in diplomatiser ‘behave like a diplomat’,  as well as the entailment  patterns observed.
How to Cite
Martin, F., & Piñón, C. (1). Behavior-related unergative verbs. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 20, 480-496. Retrieved from