This article deals with the actual emptiness of Light Verbs with particular reference to the Light Verb ‘give’ in constructions with the pattern [V+N]. The paper specifically focuses on the contribution given by both the verb and the noun to the Aktionsart of Light Verb Constructions, starting from the idea that these are complex predicates. The history of the notion of Light Verb Construction is first briefly outlined, with special emphasis on the linguistics of Romance languages. The usefulness of approaching the concept of the Light Verb Constructions as complex predicates from the perspective of cognitive linguistics is then shown. This is a valid approach 1) for understanding what the lexical meaning present in the so-called ‘empty’ verbs consists of, 2) for overcoming the theoretical difficulties related to the sharing of the argument structure by the components of the construction, and 3) for better understanding the event structure of Light Verb Constructions. A case study concerning Latin shows that the selection of the Light Verb dare ‘give’ is closely linked to the feature of boundedness, at least in co-occurrence with physical implication and motion nouns. This actional constraint is explained in terms of inheritance of the semantic value of the lexically full verb. These conditions of use are considered akin to those of dar ‘give’ in the Iberic languages.
Pompei, A. (2023). How light is ‘give’ as a Light Verb. In L.M.e.V.P. Anna Pompei (a cura di), Light Verbs Constructions. Features, Typology and Function (pp. 149-200). Berlin/Boston : Walter de Gruyter.