I've just started a new blog for a dissertation support group at SUNY Buffalo. This is a copy of a post I put over there. I'm analyzing constructions involving a class of verbs Len Talmy named 'barrier verbs' like ban, prevent, and protect. Here’s one interesting tidbit about a word that is some what barrier-like: by a large margin, the word exempt most often occurs as a predicate adjective in copula constructions (hence, it is POS tagged JJ) as in the BNC example below.
“In certain circumstances, the vehicle will also be exempt from
(TOP (S (PP (IN In) (NP (JJ certain) (NNS circumstances) (, ,))) (NP (DT the) (NN vehicle)) (VP (MD will) (ADVP (RB also)) (VP (VB be) (ADJP (JJ exempt) (PP (IN from) (NP (NN Vehicle) (NN Excise) (NN Duty) (NN Road) (NN Tax) (. .))))))))
- the door was open
- the door was opened (by X)
- the organization was exempt
- the organization was exempted (by X)
Contrast this with a speech act barrier verb like to bar:
- A judge barred Britney Spears from seeing her children.