A resultative is a phrase that indicates the state of a noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

 resulting from the completion of the verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

. In the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 examples below, the affected noun is shown in bold and the resulting predicate is in italics:
  • John licked his plate clean.
  • Mary painted the fence blue.
  • The cold weather froze the lake solid.

Subjects of passive
Passive voice
Passive voice is a grammatical voice common in many of the world's languages. Passive is used in a clause whose subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb. That is, the subject undergoes an action or has its state changed. A sentence whose theme is marked as grammatical subject is...

 and unaccusative verb
Unaccusative verb
In linguistics, an unaccusative verb is an intransitive verb whose subject is not a agent; that is, it does not actively initiate, or is not actively responsible for, the action of the verb. Unaccusative verbs thus contrast with unergative verbs...

s may participate in resulative constructions:
  • Passive: The well was drained dry.
  • Unaccusative: The door swung open.

Subjects of unergative verb
Unergative verb
An unergative verb is an intransitive verb distinguished semantically by having an agent subject. For example, in English, run, talk and resign are unergative verbs ....

s may also participate in resultative constructions, but a "dummy object", that is, an otherwise absent reflexive pronoun
Reflexive pronoun
A reflexive pronoun is a pronoun that is preceded by the noun, adjective, adverb or pronoun to which it refers within the same clause. In generative grammar, a reflexive pronoun is an anaphor that must be bound by its antecedent...

must be inserted:
  • Gordon laughed himself helpless.
  • The child screamed itself hoarse.

Resultatives are distinct from depictive constructions, though often both a resultative and a depictive reading is possible from the same sentence. For example, in "John fried the fish dry", a resultative reading suggests that as a result of John's frying, the fish became dry. On the other hand, also possible is a depictive reading in which John is already dry, and that is the state in which he is frying the fish (because e.g. he had been back from the beach for long enough to be dry). Both depictives and resultatives are important in the understanding of small clauses because their exact properties seem to vary considerably from language to language.
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