Two questions

Question 1

Can someone please explain resultative verbs? Supposedly, they express a result and the linking verb “to smell” is one.

She smells good.

That doesn’t really sound like a result to me. It seems more like a state.

Question 2)

Supposedly, “look to” means “hope” or “expect,” but it also seems people are using this with “to find” to mean “to look for.”

Where do doctors look to find my medical records?
Where should I look to find a nice 8th grade graduation dress?

In the first one, “hope” and “expect” don’t really make much sense at all. In the second one, if the speaker meant those, it seems the answers should just be a clothing store as opposed to specific locations. Does anyone else interpret this the same way?

In the examples you quote ‘look’ and ‘to’ are separate parts of the sentence, rather than a phrase where the words are used together. If you imagine them separated by the implied words ‘in order’ then it may make more sense:

Where do doctors look / (in order) to / find my medical records?
Where should I look / (in order) to / find a nice 5th grade graduation dress?

Sorry for a little digression but I am curious about resultative verbs too. As simple a phrase as ‘dig a hole’, it should be rewritten into ‘dig out earth to form a hole’ in terms of a strict semantical sense, for a hole does not need to be dug anymore! Maybe that is the function of resultative verbs?

Honestly, I believe what I read about resultative verbs is wrong. I know what resultative adjectives are and figured they’d be closely associated with resultative verbs. I just read further evidence for my first thoughts.

John painted the house brown.

“Painted” is resultative. I can’t see how a linking verb ever could be, though.

I can’t see either and wonder if there were some unobservable relationship between the verb and the noun. It seems to me that those examples could all correspond to:

  1. John painted the house brown -> The painted house.
  2. To dig a hole -> A dug hole, etc.

Cf. other examples according to George Lakoff concerning nounal of the following nouns therein:

a. To stub one’s toe -> A stubbed toe.
b. To hold one’s breath -> *Held breath.
c. To lose one’s way -> *A lost way.
d. To take one’s time -> *Taken time.

I am not sure if verbs such as ‘stub’ could be more resultative than ‘hold’; really curious.

In order for it to be resultative, shouldn’t there be some sort of adjective and change?

Example: He made her basket pretty.
Example: He drove him mad.
Example: He colored the drawing blue.
Example: He beat him bloody.
Example: She kissed his face red.
Example: He rendered the point irrelevant.
Example: He rode the horse weak.
Example: He wore his clothes raggedy.
Example: He walked his soles thin.
Example: He baked the cake black.

I don’t think any of them is resultative without the change on the other side. I knew what resultative adjectives were, so when I saw someone call the linking verb “smell” resultative, I was in deep doubt. And I think I was right to be.

I agree on this part 100%.