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Psych-verbs in the history of English: the diachrony of argument structure: Elly van Gelderen Non-Canonically Case-Marked Subjects’ Conference, Iceland,

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Presentation on theme: "Psych-verbs in the history of English: the diachrony of argument structure: Elly van Gelderen Non-Canonically Case-Marked Subjects’ Conference, Iceland,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Psych-verbs in the history of English: the diachrony of argument structure: Elly van Gelderen Non-Canonically Case-Marked Subjects’ Conference, Iceland, 8 June 2012

2 Aims and outline Aims: -to look at some shifts in the marking of arguments, especially causatives and psych-verbs -to explore reasons for these shifts Outline: -Increase in transitivity and lability -Psych-verbs change from ObjExp>SuExp and renewal of ObjExp -what does this tell us about AS?

3 Transitivity in the history of English There is an increase in transitivity and this increase is partly due to verbs ceasing to mark Theme-preserving alternations (between anticausative and causative). Theme-changing alternations (between intransitive and transitive): due to the changes in aspect marking, objects become licensed by a light verb, v.

4 OE > ModE: loss of intransitives Visser (1963: 98; 100): OE has 223 exclusively intransitive verbs whereas ModE only has 58. This is based on the pre-1933 OED. Of his 58 verbs, 26 remain as exclusively intransitive in non-archaic Modern English. These are indicated as bold:

5 OE > ModE: increase in lability Old English has 80 labile verbs (Ottoson 2009; van Gelderen 2011); Modern English has over 800 labile verbs that alternate between causative and anticausative (McMillion 2006). Some: accumulate, begin, blow up, boil, break, burn, change, close, continue, crack, crash, develop, dim, dissolve, dry, end, explode, freeze, grow, hang, improve, increase, melt, move, open, pop, roast, roll, shake, sink, split, spread, stabilize, turn.

6 Why the increase in lability? Gothic has a productive causative suffix –j-: ur-reisan ‘arise’>ur-raisjan ‘to make arise’ sliupan ‘walk silently’>af-slaupjan ‘to make slip away’ brinnan ‘burn’ intr.>ga-brannjan ‘to burn st’ sitan ‘sit’> satjan ‘to put’ The causative becomes opaque in OE due to phonological reasons. OE has 107 verbs with a causative suffix (Garcia Garcia 2012) and ModE has 4-6 (sit/set, fall/fell, bite/bait, etc); most others turn labile.

7 Structure and loss (1)vP DPv’ (he) vVP -i DPV’ God VAPglad (2) Ac utan glad-i-an georne God ælmihtigne but let.we glad-CAUS-INF eagerly God almighty

8 ModE kept: -en awaken, blacken, brighten, broaden, cheapen, coarsen, dampen, darken, deafen, deepen, fasten, fatten, flatten, freshen, frighten, gladden, harden, hasten, hearten, heighten, lengthen, lessen, lighten, loosen, madden, moisten, neaten, quicken, quieten, redden, ripen, roughen, sadden, sharpen, shorten, sicken, slacken, smarten, soften, stiffen, straighten, strengthen, sweeten, tauten, tighten, toughen, waken, weaken, whiten, widen, worsen

9 This –en is interesting According to Skeat (1892: ), the -en suffix reverses its meaning from the Gothic detransitivizing na-verbal class (cf. lear-n, ow-n, daw-n, drow-n) to English causativizer: the -n in full-n-an ‘to be filled’ is reanalyzed as -en in blacken and darken ‘to make black/dark’. It is now a verbalizer and adds a change of state.

10 Changes in affectedness of the object marking: aspect lost Loss of genitive objects (around 1200), but introduction of articles (1200) Loss of ge- (again 1200, and all 3 in the same text!) and other aspectual prefixes: ærnan ‘to run’ >geærnan ‘to reach’ feran ‘to go’>geferan ‘to reach’ adruwian‘dry up’, aswapan ‘sweep off, clean’ But renewal by particle: receive in; issue out

11 Perfective and object affectedness vP>vPv’ vASPPvVP DPASP’[i-asp] DPV’ i- GEN ASPVPV DP ge-V’ [i-pf]VDP

12 Structurally Not much changes with the causative, except little v = zero Transitive: no visible difference (e.g. ge-) between transitive and intransitive anymore. The v has taken over from (internal) ASP.

13 Psych-verbs (1) That alien frightens him. =ExpObj CauseEXP (2) He fears that alien. =ExpSu EXP SU MATTER Experiencer Verbs as in Verhoeven (2007: 42-50) bodily sensation be cold, be hungry emotion fear, anger, shame cognition understand, learn, remember volition like, wish perception see, hear

14 Generalizing and inverted If a language expresses its Experiencer as if it were a normal animate agent, Bossong (1998: 260) uses generalization and if not, he suggests the term inversion. Bossong (1998: 269) also mentions that generalization is a diachronic process in Germanic. English is virtually completely generalizing whereas Icelandic is on the inverted side of the continuum; the other Scandinavian languages are more on the English side with Dutch and German more towards Icelandic.

15 Bossong’s 10 verbs: increase in SuExp Be cold, be hungry, be thirsty, have a headache, be glad about, be sorry, like something, remember something, forget something, see something. For instance: Mer er kalt – jag fryser – I am cold – Ik heb.. X gladdi mig –X gläder mig/jag glädjes över –I am glad about But there is renewal of ObjExp!

16 Three types of OE verbs, based on Elmer (1981) and Allen (1995) IN II DAT ExpDAT/ACC ExpNOM Exp NOM ThGEN Th (or P)Gen Th eglian `ail’langian `long for’sceamian `shame’ (ge/of)hreowan lystan `desire’hreowan ‘pity’ (ge)licianofhreowan `pity’reccan `care’ laþian`loathe’ofþyncan `regret’giernan `yearn’ losian`lose’ sceamian `cause/feel shame’wilnian `desire’ mislician(ge)spowan `cause/ feel success at’ behofian `need’ ofliciantweonian `cause/feel doubt at’lystan ofþyncanþyncan `seem, think’lustfullian þyncan wlatian `nauseate/be nauseated’

17 Type I (1) Þa bodan us færdon the messengers us frightened.P NOM-ThemeDAT/ACC-Exp `The messengers frightened us.’ (Ælfric Deut i. 28) Order: typically NOM-DAT except when EXP is pronoun CSD: controlled first NP; by EXP when it precedes the Th (Allen 114)

18 Type N (2)oððaet him wlatode þaere gewilnunge untilhimnauseated that desire DAT/ACC-ExpGEN-Theme `until he was nauseated of the desire.’ (from Allen 1995: 70, Ælfric Hom ) Order: typically Exp-Th CSD: often controlled by EXP

19 Type II (3) þe cyng … gyrnde heora fultumes the king … desired their support NOM-ExpGEN-Th ‘The king wanted some of their support.’ (Peterborough Chronicle )

20 More differences: 60-80% of EXP are pronouns, especially in type N (Allen 100); Theme is more likely a Noun: (a) can’t have been Case loss, and (b) possible information status. Allen (145) compares the apparent synonyms lician and (ge)cweman `please’: the Theme is mainly non-human with lician but rarely so with (ge)cweman. So, with the latter the Theme had control, was a Cause

21 From ObjExp>SuExp (a) Of the OE ones, several are still in use: ail, like, loathe, yearn, long, and shame but like and loathe have changed from class I to II and long from N to II. Shame is of course only used in passive participle form. (b) Fear has changed from ObjExp>SuExp. (c) Hate is not listed by Elmer or Allen, but remains stable as SubjExp, as does love.

22 ObjExpfirst SubExp first anger1200be angry1360 vex1423detest1533 annoy1300fume about1522 disturb1230pity trouble1230 (transitive use 1340) hurt1526 (transitive use 1200) displease1377dislike1578 distress1400despise1297 irritate1531hateOE

23 ObjExpSuExp infuriate1667be furious about/at 1855 amuse1600be amused upon 1601 astonish1600be astonished at 1611 surprise1474be surprised with 1485 please1350like1200 delight1500loveOE overjoy1382adore1300 embitter1603resent1595 cheer1430rejoice1390

24 ObjExpSubjExp exhilarate1540admire1500 worry1807worry with1671 grieve1300grieve (over) 1640 bore1768be bored1768 frighten1666fear1393 scare1200be afraid1475 terrify1536 thrill1800 appease1374 (transitive use 1330) charm1616 (transitive 1380)

25 Lician – cweman - please (1)Æghwylc man,..., þurh gode dæda Gode lician sceal. (OED 971 Blickl. Hom. 129) (2)gif hig god-e willan rihtlice cweman if they God-DAT want rightly please (Allen 1995: 146) (3)Þe wordes of my mouþe shul ben þat hii plesen (OED, c1350 Psalter in K. D. Bülbring Earliest Compl. Eng. Prose Psalter (1891) xviii. 15) (4) it bihoueth ou for to go and plese to God. (OED, c1384 Bible Douce 369(2) 1 Thess. iv. 1)

26 Qs: what happened? Is Bossong right? Yes: I/N > II; ObjExp>SuExp. What’s the trigger: Animacy? Færan: ‘frighten’ > ‘fear’ - Was Th non-human? - Was Exp pronoun? (1) Ða bodan us færdon, & cwædon OED (2) & God þa afærde þone forsædan ealdorman & ealle his meniu (DOE Judg B )

27 ExpSub (1) He him ondræt his deaþes he REFLfears his death NOM-ExpGEN-Theme `He fears his death.’ (Ælfric Hom Skeat i, 12, 87) Is the reflexive a detransitivizer? (2) Dit verbaast haarDutch This astonishes her (3)Zij verbaast zich over... She astonishes REFL about...

28 Many reflexives with SuExp! (1)Hwæs ondrætst ðu ðe? Of.what fear you REFL `What do you fear?’(Hom II 342, 28) (2)Forþan gif þu þe ofsceamian wilt þines gedwolan (Boethius 6.16) Visser calls verbs with genitive objects intransitive and glosses this `as to what, do you fear’

29 ExpObj ≈ Causative ExpSubj ≈ Reflexive (1)Swyðe blissiað þas word us: þe her æfterfyliað `Much gladden the words us which here follow’ (Hom. I, ) (2)Ac se læweda mann sceal him ondrædan þæs biscopes cwyde But the lay man shall REFL fear the bishop’s word (Hom. I, )

30 Delight: reflexive and oblique object (1) Eue ‥ sech hine feier & feng to deliten hire iþe bi haldunge. `started to rejoice in’ (c1225 Ancrene Riwle Cleo. C.vi 43) (2)yf þou delyte þe oftyn stoundes, Yn horsys, haukys, or yn houndes R. Mannyng Handlyng Synne 3086 (3)So hy ben delited in that art That wery ne ben hy neuere cert. c1300 K. Alis. 5802

31 To full ObjExp: (4)But for I ‥ was so besy you to delyte. (OED, c1374 Chaucer Anelida & Arcite 266) (5) The loue of this game deliteth him so muche. (OED, 1535 Bp. J. Fisher Wks. 1876: 366) Delight keeps both but SuExp seems preferred: A quick google search finds many more ExpSu instances, e.g. 18 million `delight in’ and 7 million `delights in’ and a million `delight me/him’ and 380,000 `delights me/him’

32 Unidirectional? -færan>fear OE ObjExp1393 SuExp -lician>like OE ObjExp1200 SuExp Exceptions may be behofian `need’ and reccan ‘care about’, see Allen (1995: 72; 167; 224-5).

33 Renewal of the ObjExp anger, scare1200Old Norse please1350Anglo-Norman irritate1531Latin embitter1603 French and internal stun1700internal change worry1807internal change But also of the SuExp: adore, resent, rejoice

34 Agent/ Causer and Th > Th/Cause and Exp (4)a.They kill it [a fish] by first stunning it with a knock with a mallet. (OED 1662 J. Davies tr. A. Olearius Voy & Trav. Ambassadors 165) b.The ball, which had been nearly spent before it struck him, had stunned instead of killing him. (OED, 1837 Irving Capt. Bonneville I. 271) (5)Why doe Witches and old women, fascinate and bewitch children? (OED 1621 R. Burton Anat Melancholy i. ii. iii. ii. 127)

35 Possible reasons for changes Loss of causative –i- and many Exp verbs are causative: fǽran < *fæ ̂ rjan `frighten’ Lability with psych-Vs is rare! Decausitivization? (1)1393 So lowde his belle is runge ‥ That of þe noise ‥ Men feeren hem ‥ Welmore þan þei don of þonder. (2)1530 I feared me alwayes that it wolde be so. (3)a1593 I feare me he is slaine.

36 Like: reflexive and ambiguous (1) I ha me liked ai vm-quile In vnnait wordes. (OED a1300 Cursor Mundi 28336) (2) For ilk suik it-self bisuikes, And lethes mast þat þar-in likes. ‘that therein delights’ (OED, a1300 Cursor Mundi ) (3) And þar-on made his sacrifijs; Our lauerd drightin, þat al weldan[d], Him liked wel in his offrand (Cursor Mundi 1940)

37 ObjExp > SuExp: loss of v, but what came instead? (1)vP>vP DPv’DPv’ Þa bodanHe =CAUSEv-causeVP=EXP vVP (SE) DPVVDP usfærdonfeares the thing =EXP=Th/SM

38 Acquisition of Theme first? Ryan (2008; 2012) shows how the Theme emerges first, e.g. drop, fall, up etc. are the first predicates. That may be why the ObjExp is reanalyzed.

39 Eve (Brown 1973): lots of ExpSu with like and some with hurt 1;8 like as P 1;9 I like icecream like more? 1;7 look (.) hurt xxx self 1;11 Sue (.) I hurt my finger. Nothing with ObjExp anger, hurt, worry

40 Current changes: ExpSu>Agent? (1)I am liking/loving/hating it. E.g.in COCA: (2) how I got guard duty and how I'm going to be hating that and totally tired. (3) and I am liking what I see in the classrooms

41 New ObjExp: new v-Cause (1)Suche daunsis, whiche ‥ dyd with vnclene motions or countinances irritate the myndes of the dauncers to venereall lustes. (1531 Elyot Bk. named Gouernouri. xix. sig. Kijv) (2)Impiety ‥ doth embitter all the conveniencies and comforts of life. (a1677 I. Barrow Serm. Several Occasions 1678: 52) (3)Which at first did frighten people more than any-thing. (1666 S. Pepys Diary 4 Sept VII 275)

42 Still true? COHA: - 4/582 irritate and 1/178 embitter have `emphatic’ do: (1)Unruly sons and unreasonable fathers did sometimes embitter his else sweet days and nights. - 0/ like has but admire has lots!

43 Conclusions Loss of causative –i- and genitive Case and perfective/transitivizing ge-: -Increase in lability: 80 > 800 -Intransitive > transitive: 223 > 30 Loss of genitive and loss of causative may have triggered change on ObjExp: -Like, loathe, long, and fear: ObjExp>SuExp -New ExpObj: v-cause `do’ is used for new ExpObj -`Reversal’ of EXP and TH: very much a puzzle: possibly due to the acquisition of the Theme. -Role of reflexive not clear

44 Cyclical change ObjExp stunfear `frighten’ SuAgSubExp seeing/liking it

45 References Allen, Cynthia Case marking and reanalysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Belletti, Adriana and Rizzi, Luigi Psych-Verbs and Theta-Theory. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 6: Bossong, Georg Le marquage de l’expérient dans les langues d’Europe. In Jack Feuillet, Actance et Valence dans les Langues de l’Europe, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Clark Hall, J.R A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cole, Peter et al The acquisition of subjecthood. Language 56.4 : Croft, William Case marking and the semantics of mental verbs. In Semantics and the Lexicon, edited by James Pustejovsky. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

46 Dictionary of Old English (DOE) texts. Folli, Rafaella & Heidi Harley Flavors of v. In Paula Kempchinsky et al (eds), Aspectual Inquiries, Springer Garcia Garcia, Luisa Morphological Causatives in Old English. TrPhS 110: Gelderen, Elly van Valency Changes in the History of English. Journal of Historical Linguistics 1.1: Haspelmath, Martin Non-Canonical Marking of Core Arguments in European Languages. In Aikhenvald et al (eds), Non-Canonical Marking of Subjects and Objects, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Heidinger, Steffen French Anticausatives. De Gruyter. Lightfoot, David Principles of Diachronic Syntax. CUP.

47 Malchukov, Andrej & Siewierska, Anna Impersonal Constructions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Miura, Ayumi Middle English Verbs of Emotion and Impersonal Constructions. Manchester Diss. Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Oxford: Oxford University Press, and OED online. Pesetsky, David Zero Syntax. Cambridge: MIT Press. Pylkkänen, Lisa Introducing Arguments. Cambridge: MIT Press. Ryan, John The Genesis of Argument Structure: Observations of a Child’s Early Speech Production in Spanish. Lambert Academic Publications. Verhoeven, Elisabeth Experiential Constructions in Yucatec Maya. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Visser, F An Historical Syntax of the English Grammar, Vol I-IIIb. Leiden: Brill.


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