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Argument Structure in Flux in the History of English

IntégréTéléchargement
Argument Structure:
some debates and possible
insight from language change
Elly van Gelderen
Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature
Oslo, 1 October 2015
Outline
How linguists see Argument Structure: Theta-roles and aspect
Relevance beyond language: ToM, moral grammar
Debates: Lexicon (Levin), Syntax (Hale & Keyser), Conceptual
Structure (Jackendoff)
Changes:
Unaccusative verbs > adding light verbs + labile
and unergatives > transitive + particle verbs
Unaccusatives > copulas
Unaccusatives ̸> unergatives; Unergatives ̸> unaccusatives
Psych-verbs: ObjExp > SuExp; but not the other way round.
Argument Structure
(1) rain, snow: 0 arguments, as in
`It rained.’
(2) swim, arrive: 1 argument, as in
`They swam.’
(3) eat, see: 2 arguments, as in
`He ate an apple.’
(4) give, tell: 3 arguments,
`They gave us work.’
Aspectual class is very important for AS
durative, a-telic:
(5) He ran for hours/*in 5 minutes
add a goal > telic
(6) He ran to the store in five minutes
definite object > telic
(7) He ate the turkey
-ing > durative, atelic
(8) He was eating turkey for hours.
Hopper & Thompson (1980: 252)
Theta-roles:
Gruber (1965), Fillmore (1968), and
Jackendoff (1972), Chomsky (1981: 34ff)
Verbs are listed in the lexicon with their thetaroles (theta-grids) and there needs to be a
matching number of arguments to theta-roles in
the syntax. If eat is listed as needing two thetaroles (Agent and Theme), there will need to be
two arguments (now DPs) and to each argument
a theta-roles will have to be assigned.
Theta-roles incorporate some aspect etc.
Agent:
an animate entity that deliberately brings
about the event.
Causer:
entity responsible for (initiating) an event
Experiencer: an animate entity that experiences the
event
Theme:
person or object affected by the action
Goal:
animate entity that the event is done to or
for
Result:
state resulting from the event
Path:
path of the event
Manner:
manner of the event
Instrument: instrument through which the event occurs
Intransitives can have a Theme (fall) or Agent (work)
Agent vs Theme
Unergative (Agent)
-deliberately is ok
-Agent is human/animate
-a Theme can be added
-V+er
-*nominalization with of
Unaccusative (Theme)
deliberately is not ok
Agent can be +/-animate
no Theme can be added
*V+er
nominalization with of ok
Dowty (1991) typed unergatives as atelic and
unaccusatives as telic and Tenny (1987: 264) writes that
unergatives “tend to describe non-delimited events, while
unaccusatives tend to describe delimited events”
Unergatives
bicycle, burp, cough, crawl, cry, dance, daydream,
frown, grin, hop, jog, kneel, laugh, limp, resign, run,
scream, shout, smile, swim, speak, sneeze, sleep,
talk, walk, work, yell.
Unaccusatives
Alternating: begin, burn, decrease, drop, fall,
freeze, grow, increase, melt, reduce, stop, spread,
widen
Non-alternating: appear, arise, arrive, come,
depart, emerge, ensue, exist, follow, occur, remain,
sit
Acquisition
Bloom et al (1980) show that children are conscious of
aspectual verb classes very early on. Thus, –ed
morphemes go with non-durative events, -ing with
durative non-completive activities, and infinitives with
stative verbs. Various researchers agree on this, e.g.
Broman Olsen & Weinberg (1999) likewise show that a
telic verb correlates with the presence of –ed and that –
ing is frequent with dynamic and durative verbs.
The next slide lists all the adjectives and verbs for Eve at
the time of her first recording. All types of verbs are there
and a few of the activity verbs are marked with –ing
(swimming and writing) and a past is marked on an
unaccusative (broke).
Eve at 1;6
unaccusative
block broke
(Neil) sit
down, busy, gone
Mommy down, open
come down,
sit down, fall down
(finger) stuck
lie down stool
unergative
transitive
other
(fish are) swimming Eve pencil
that radio
wait, play, cook
I did it
look
Eve/you find it
Eve writing
see ya
stand dance
doll eat celery
Mommy step
read the puzzle
Mommy swing?
change her
man (no) taste it
get her/it
fix (it)/ Mommy fix
bring it
want Mommy letter
write a paper
man/papa have it
(you) find it
play (step)
Naima’s first words
0;11.28
delicious, down, good, eat, there
1;0.28
beep, beeper, down, go
1;1.11
late, roll, where’d it go?
1;1.25
get baby, slide, truck went by, good
1;2.07
buy, down
1;2.23
bumping, down, keep it, sink, sleeping, sleepy, slide,
squeeze, up
1;3.07
beep beep, buy, clean(ed), cold, give Mommy, gone, hot,
messy, on, pick music, play tower, slide, up
Theme-arguments (down, good, late, roll, slide, went by); transitive (eat,
buy), labile (clean, sink),
Unergative (sleep, beep).
Aspect:
unaccusative/causative has –ed (cleaned) and
unergative/transitive has –ing (bumping, sleeping).
Broader relevance
Argument structure forms the basis of our
propositions and, without it, there is no
meaning. It is likely that AS is part of our larger
cognitive system and not restricted to the
language faculty.
`Mistakes’ in acquisition minor so AS is part of
the Conceptual Structure
AS plays a role in our moral grammar where
agents are assigned more responsibility than
causers.
Bickerton (1990: 67) puts it, “[a]rgument structure
... is universal.” All languages have verbs for eating
and drinking and those verbs would have an Agent
and a Theme connected with them. Arguments are
also represented in the syntax in predictable ways.
An Agent will be higher in the hierarchical structure
than a Theme, unless they are clearly marked as not
following the Thematic Hierarchy.
Bickerton (1990: 185) suggests that the
“universality of thematic structure suggests a deeprooted ancestry, perhaps one lying outside
language altogether.”
If argument/thematic structure predates the
emergence of language, an understanding of
causation, intentionality, volition - all relevant to
determining theta-structure - may be part of our
larger cognitive system and not restricted to the
language faculty.
It then fits that argument structure is relevant to
other parts of our cognitive make-up, e.g. the moral
grammar. Gray et al. (2007), for instance, argue that
moral judgment depends on mind perception,
ascribing agency and experience to other entities.
De Waal (e.g. 2006) has shown that chimps and
bonobos show empathy, planning, and attribute
minds to others.
Agency, intention, animacy
Pre-linguistic children connect agency with intention
(Metzoff 1995) and with animacy (Golinkoff 1985), and
know causality (Leslie & Keeble 1987). Hauser et al (2007)
have shown that moral judgments are not the same as
justifications and that the former are likely part of a moral
grammar.
As for theta-roles, Snyder, Hyams & Crisma (1995), Costa
& Friedmann (2012), and Ryan (2012) show that children
distinguish intransitive verbs with Agents from those with
Themes from when they start using these verbs. Prelinguistic children know causality. Lakusta & Carey (2015)
show that the Goal is more salient to one-year olds than
the Source.
Debates: in lexicon/conceptual
structure or added?
Assume that argument structure is universal,
is it directly tied to the conceptual structure, as
argued by Jackendoff in various publications
(e.g. 1997) and only indirectly to the syntax?
Ramchand (2008) has similar ideas about how
the meaning of a verb consists of a start,
process, and result and these translate into
syntactic structure, or vP-shell.
Borer (2005) and Lohndal (2014): no AS in the
lexicon.
AS and change
If AS is outside the linguistic system, humans
without language could have had it and so can
other species.
The language learner has an active role in language
change. If a verb becomes ambiguous, as happens
with morphological erosion or aspectual coercion,
the learner may analyze it in a different way from
the speakers s/he is listening to
Since argument structure is often seen as the least
variable part of language, it makes sense to see if
this holds in language change and what we can
learn from change.
Arguments Structure in Old English
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
& hit rine & sniwe & styrme ute.
and it rain and snow and storm out
`and it rains, snows, and storms outside.’
(OED, Bede ii. x. 134)
Ða geseah he swymman scealfran on flode.
Then saw he swim (diver) birds in the flow (of water)
‘Then he saw birds swim in the water.’
(OED, Ælfric Homilies II. 516)
Se hæfð ece lif þe ytt min flæsc.
he has eternal life that eats my flesh
(OED, West Saxon Gospels, John, Corpus Cambr. vi. 54)
Him scippend gaf wuldorlicne wlite.
him lord gave wonderful appearance
`The lord gave him a wonderful appearance.’
(OED, Solomon & Saturn 56)
Unergative and unaccusative in OE
(1)
Heo on wrace syððan seomodon swearte siðe,
ne þorfton hlude hlihhan
They in exile since continued black occasion,
not needed loudly laugh
`From then on, those spirits dwelt in exile; they had no
need to laugh loudly.’ (Genesis 71)
(2) Næfre on ore læg widcuþes wig,
ðonne walu feollon.
never on front lay.down famous fight,
then slaughtered.ones fell.
`He was always in front when others fell around him.’
(Beowulf 1041-2)
(3)
Unaccusative has passive participle
Fyr, forst, hægel and gefeallen snaw, is and yste,
fire, frost, and fallen snow, ice and storm
(Paris Psalter 148.8)
and be/have is sometimes telling:
(4)
Þa hie ða hæfdon feorðan dæl þære ea geswummen,
then they then had fourth part that river swum
`When they had swum a quarter of that river, ...’.
(Alexander's Letter to Aristotle: Orchard, 1995 224-52, 15.12)
(5)
hu sio lar Lædengeðiodes ær ðissum
how that knowledge of.Latin before this
afeallen wæs giond Angelcynn, ...
fallen was throughout England
`how the knowledge of Latin had decayed throughout England.’
(Alfred, Pastoral Care, 7.15-6).
a.
b.
c.
d.
e
f.
g.
h.
(self)willes appears
%(self)willes
a Theme can be added no Theme can appear
V+er
%V+er
Imperative appears
no imperative
%prenominal past
prenominal past
participle
participle
be + perfect participle have + perfect part
Impersonal passive: occurs with either verb
type; possible causative
SV and VS
more VS in subordinate
clauses
From OE>ME: Loss of Intransitives
a) a complete loss of the verb, e.g. bifian `to
shake’,
b) the loss of prefixes and addition of resultative
particles, e.g. aberstan `burst out, escape’,
c) the replacement by light verbs and adjective
or noun, e.g. emtian `become empty’,
d) a change to labile verbs, e.g. dropian `drop’,
i.e. alternating between causative and
unaccusative, and
e) increase in (manner of) motion (Fanego 2012)
80 intransitives from Visser
aberstan `burst out, escape’
Th
ablican `shine’
Th
ablinan `cease, desist’
Th
æfnian `become evening’
0
æmtian/emtian `become empty’ Th
ærnan `run’
A
ætfellan `fall away’
Th
ætglidan `disappear, glide away’ Th
ætslidan `slip, slide’
Th
ætspringan `rush forth’
Th
aferscan `become fresh’,
Th
afulian `become fowl, rot’
Th
alatian `to grow sluggish’
Th
aleoran `to depart/flee’
Th
ascortian `become short/pass away’
aslapan `slumber, fall asleep’
Th
Th
particle verb
obsolete
obsolete
light v
light v (and labile)
labile (caus, unerg, unacc)
particle verb
particle verb
labile
obsolete
light v
light v
obsolete
obsolete
light v
obsolete
berstan `burst’
Th
bifian `tremble/shake’
A
blinnan `cease’
Th
brogdian, brogdettan `tremble’ A
bugan `bow down/bend’
Th
cidan `quarrel, complain’
A
cirman `cry (out)’
A
climban (upp) `climb’
A
cloccian `cluck, make noise’
A
clum(m)ian `mumble, mutter’ A
clymmian `climb’
A
cneatian `argue’
A
cneowian `kneel down’
A
cnitian `dispute’
A
creopan `crawl’
A
cuman `come, approach, arrive’ Th
burst labile (causative rare)
obsolete
obsolete
obsolete
obsolete
transitive
obsolete
(same and) transitive
transitive (archaic)
obsolete
(particle verb and) transitive
obsolete
obsolete
obsolete
same: creep
same: come (to)
Results
Obsolete
Unchanged
Light v
Particle
Labile
Transitive
Total
44
11
8
6
6
5
80
Conclusions from the 80 verbs
The verbs that are replaced by light verbs are
deadjectival and denominal verbs, namely æfnian,
æmtian, aferscan, afulian, ascortian, dimmian,
fordragan, and gegyltan: all unaccusative verbs in Old
English but the new light verb determines whether it is
unaccusative or causative.
The change to labile verb affects ærnan, ætslidan,
berstan, droppian, droppetan, and growan. Apart from
ærnan, these are all unaccusative and end up with an
optional causative. The case of ærnan is complex; it is
an unergative in Old English but acquires causative and
unaccusative meanings.
The new particle verbs replace a prefix, as in
aberstan, ætfellan, ætglidan, forscrincan,
forþgangangan, and forþræsan. Like the
prefixes, the new particles indicate a path or
result and imply perfective aspect.
The five unergative verbs that become transitive
are cidan, climban, cloccian, clymmian, and
felan. Cloccian is archaic but the others acquire
a regular Theme.
So
Increase in light verbs, labile, and transitive verbs
and:
21/80 are motion verbs: aberstan, ærnan, ætfellan,
ætglidan, ætslidan, ætspringan, aleoran, clymmian,
cneowian, creopan `crawl’, dufan ‘to dive’, dwelsian,
dwolian, fleotan, fordwinan, forþfaran, forþgangan,
forþræsan, forþweaxan, and glidan; cuman is
unspecified.
Many are manner of motion; 10/21 are particle
verbs because the particle provides the path.
Of these 21, 7 become obsolete so, compared to all
intransitives, these are relatively resilient.
Morphological changes at the end of OE
loss of affixes
-i causative (results in more labile Vs)
ge-participle (results in more transitives Vs)
prefixes (path/result)
development of articles
and loss of object Case
increase in particles (to add path and result)
increase in light verbs (to take over for –i and ge-)
Causative still productive in OE?
drēopan 'drop'
drīepan 'moisten',
belgan 'be/become angry‚
ābielgan 'irritate',
hweorfan 'turn/go/die‚
hwierfan 'turn/destroy ',
meltan 'melt, burn up, be digested‘ mieltan 'melt/purge',
sincan 'sink’
sencan 'sink,
submerge/drown',
springan 'jump/burst forth/spread' sprengan 'scatter/burst',
nesan 'escape from/be saved‚
nerian 'save/protect',
sīgan 'sink/fall/move'
sægan 'cause to
sink/fell/destroy',
scrincan 'shrink/wither‚
screncan 'cause to shrink',
feallan 'fall/flow/die‚
fiellan 'fell/defeat/destroy'
Labile, 55 acc. to Visser
abrecan ‘break’, abreoðan ‘unsettle/ruin’, acirran ‘turn’, acumen
‘come’, acweccan ‘shake’, acwician ‘quicken/revive’, ætiewan ‘show’,
ætstandan ‘stand/remain’, aslacian ‘become/make slack’, baðian
‘bathe’, blawan ‘blow’, blissian ‘be glad/make glad’, brecan ‘break’,
bregdan ‘move quickly/shake’, buan ‘live’, byrnan ‘burn’, cierran ‘turn’,
clipian ‘speak, cry out’, cwanian ‘lament/mourn’, dragan ‘drag’,
dwelian ‘go/lead astray’, dwellan ‘wander/lead astray’, eardian
‘live/inhabit’, fleon ‘fly/flee’, fon ‘take’, geotan ‘pour’, gladian ‘be
glad/rejoice’, healdan ‘hold/procede’, hefigan ‘become/make heavy’,
hildan ‘lean/hold’, hlænan ‘lean/cause to lean’, hweorfan/hwierfan
‘turn/change’, lacan ‘jump/play’, læstan ‘follow/endure’, langian ‘long
for/lengthen’, mieran ‘scatter/disturb’, miswendan ‘err/abuse’, ofergan
‘traverse’, oferfaran ‘traverse’, openian ‘open’, plegan ‘move’, sadian
‘weary’, samnian ‘assemble/meet’, sargian ‘suffer/cause pain’, sarian
‘become painful/feel sorry for’, scotian ‘move rapidly’, spyrian
‘go/pursue’, tolicgan ‘lie/separate’, tostregdan ‘scatter’, tostencan
‘scatter’, tydran ‘produce’, þeostrian ‘darken’, þringan ‘press (on)’,
wanian ‘diminish’, wlitigian ‘become/make beautiful’
And few (27) more > Mod E 800
āðīestrian 'darken', ahnescian 'become soft/make soft',
brædan 'broaden/grow', dælan ‘divide’, gedieglan ‘hide’,
drygan 'become dry/dry', hlīewan 'become warm/warm',
stillan 'be still/quiet', ābiterian 'become bitter/make
bitter', cwician 'come to life/enliven', gōdian 'be
better/make better', heardian 'harden/make hard',
hefegian 'become heavy/make heavy', hlænian 'become
lean/make lean', hluttrian 'become clean/clean', lytlian
'lessen/decrease', gemetgian 'moderate
oneself/moderate', micelian 'become great/increase',
minsian 'diminish', nearwian 'become smaller/make
smaller', openian 'open', swīðian 'become
strong/strengthen', swutulian/sweotolian 'become
manifest/make clear', ðiccian 'thicken', ðynnian 'become
thin/make thin', yfelian 'become bad/make bad', wendan
‘change’.
ME causatives: make, -en and zero
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
and –ate, -ify, -ize, etc...
but English `likes’ zero:
brown, clean, clear, cool, crisp, dim, dirty, dry,
dull, empty, even, firm, level, loose, mellow,
muddy, narrow, open, pale, quiet, round, shut,
slack, slim, slow, smooth, sober, sour, steady,
tame, tan, tense, thin, warm, yellow
Around 1200: a reanalysis
(1) & gaddresst swa þe clene corn
`and so you gather the clear wheat.’ (Ormulum 14845, Holt edition)
(2) 3ho wass … Elysabæþ 3ehatenn
`She was called Elisabeth.’ (Ormulum 115)
(3) & swa þe33 leddenn heore lif Till þatt te33 wærenn
alde
`and so they led their lives until they were old.’
(Ormulum 125-6)
(4) þin forrme win iss swiþe god, þin lattre win iss
bettre.
`Your earlier wine is very good, your later wine is
better.’ (Ormulum 15409)
ASP > D
Loss of object Case (Allen 1995)
(1)
þe cyng …. gyrnde heora fultumes
the king … desired their support-GEN
‘The king wanted some of their support.’
(Peterborough Chronicle 1087.37-39)
Loss of transitivizing prefixes
(2)
ærnan ‘to run’
>
feran ‘to go’
>
gan ‘to go'
>
hyran ‘to hear’
>
restan ‘to rest'
>
winnan ‘to labor, toil'>
wadan ‘to go’
>
geærnan ‘to reach’
geferan ‘to reach’
gegan ‘to overrun, subdue'
gehyran ‘to learn about’
gerestan ‘to give rest'
gewinnan ‘to gain, conquer'
gewadan ‘to traverse’
Loss of ge-:The Peterborough Chronicle divided in 10
equal parts with numbers of ge-
and aspectual prefix loss (Brinton 1988)
adruwian ‘dry up’
aswapan
‘sweep off, clean’
bedrincan ‘absorb’
belucan
‘enclose’
forswelgan ‘swallow up’ formeltan ‘melt away’
forðbringan ‘produce’ forðsiþian ‘go forth, die’
fulfremman ‘fulfill’
fullbetan
‘satisfy’
oflætan
‘give up’
oftredan
‘tread down’
oferhelian ‘conceal’
ofergan
‘overrun’
tobeatan
‘beat apart’ tosyndrian ‘separate’
þurhtrymman ‘corroborate’ þurhdreogan ‘carry through’
ymbhringan ‘surround’ ymbhycgan ‘consider’
Perfective and object affectedness:
v and D take over from ASP
vP
>
vP
v’
v
cause
-i
v’
ASPP
DP
GEN
v
[i-asp]V
ASP’
ASP
ge[i-pf]
VP
DP
D
NP
[u-asp]
V’
V
VP
DP
Interim conclusion 1
What does AS tell us:
Few mistakes in acquisition
Diachronic instability in the expression of v/ASP
but very predictable change:
unaccusative > causative
unergative > transitive
Aspect is stable
Next: copulas and psych-verbs
Change to copulas etc...
Curme (1935: 66-8): 60 copulas in English; “no
other language shows such a vigorous growth of
copulas” (67). Visser (1963: 213-9) lists over a
100 for the various stages.
Unaccusative > copula
appear, become, fall, go, grow, turn, wane,
break, last, remain, rest, stay, continue
Interim conclusion 2
Unaccusative > causative
Unaccusative > copula
Theme is stable
Old > Modern English: a reanalysis of the aspect
features. Although the basic syntactic tree
remains the same, there are minor changes in
the v and ASP and which lexical elements
occupy them.
Now: instability of Theme
ObjExp
færan/fear
lician/like
loathe
marvel
relish
OE-1480
OE-1800
OE-1600
1380-1500
1567-1794
SuExp
1400-now
1200-now
1200-now
1380-now
1580-now
Loss of causative –i-: many Exp verbs are
causative and therefore reanalyzed
fǽran < *fæ̂rjan `frighten’
`Last’ ObjExp with `fear’
(1)
(2)
Þe fend moveþ þes debletis to fere Cristene
[men] fro treuþe.
`The enemy moves these devils to frighten
Christian men from the truth.’
(MED, a1425 Wycl.Serm. Bod 788 2.328)
Thus he shal yow with his wordes fere.
`Thus, he’ll frighten you with his words.’
(MED, Chaucer TC 4.1483)
The addition of result/instrument in ObjExp
emphasizes Change of State in the later stages.
First SuExp with `fear’
(1)
Fele ferde for þe freke(z), lest felle hym þe
worre.
`Many feared for the man lest the worst
happened to him.’
(MED, c1390 Gawain Nero A.10 1588)
(2) I fere me þat I shuld stond in drede.
`I fear that I shall stand in dread.’
(MED, a1500 Play Sacr. Dub 652 218)
The ambiguity depends on whether the postverbal
pronoun is seen as a reflexive or not. Thus, it is not
clear whether (2) means `I frighten myself that ...’
or `I fear that ...’
Changes
Many of the OE ObjExp are productive
causatives:
a-hwænan `vex, afflict’, gremman `enrage’, abylgan `anger’, swencan `harrass’, a-þrytan
`weary’, wægan `vex’, and wyrdan `annoy’.
So, does the loss of the causative in ferian cause
reanalysis? Possibly with ferian but not with
marvel and relish.
Reanalysis
Renewal of Object Experiencers
anger, scare
astonish
grieve
please
irritate
stun
worry
1200 Old Norse
1375 unclear
1330 French
1350 Anglo-Norman
1531 Latin
1700 internal change
1807 internal change
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 anything. (1666 S. Pepys Diary 4 Sept VII 275)
Agent and Th > Th/Cause and Exp:
reintroduction of cause-v
(1) 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)
(2) Why doe Witches and old women, fascinate and
bewitch children? (OED 1621 R. Burton Anat
Melancholy i. ii. iii. ii. 127)
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
(4) lately we've been loving broccoli rabe, which
(5) And so everybody in town was knowing that
this was happening
(6) I've been fearing the answers.
Another v-change:
Cyclical change in psych-verbs
ObjExp
stun
SuAg
fear `frighten’
SubExp
seeing/liking it
Acquisition
Eve (Brown 1973) has SuExp like, love, want but not
ObjExp anger, scare; her hurt is SuExp initially.
Eve love crayon (1;9), want mommy letter (1;6),
want watch (1;6), want mommy out (1;6), want
lunch, want down, want mommy read (1;6) ... but:
hurt xxx self (1;7), hurt knee (1;9), I hurt my finger
(1;11)
Sarah has early want (2;3), love (2;5), and hurt as
in: I hurt again (2;9.6). Her scare is late at 3;7:
to scare me on the dark (3;7.16)
So is cause-v late? Probably not:
Weezer break my mirror (Tomasello 1992: 337,
T. 1;8.19)
How come you had a little trouble going it?
(Bowerman 1974, C. 3:5)
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 as
SuExp.
Linguistic conclusions
Changes: Unaccusative > causative (labile and
light verbs)
Unergative > transitive
Unaccusative > copula
Increase in light verbs and particles
Increase in lability: 80 > 800
Changes in the light v inventory but vP shell is
stable
Psych-verb and copula: Theme is crucial and
stable
Conceptual Structure?
Aspectual +/-telic, +/- durative is pervasive
Verbs always have a Theme argument but they
don’t always have an Agent or Causer. The latter
are introduced by optional light verbs which
may be overt or not.
The vP shell is stable and may show the
conceptual structure with an emphasis on
aspect and theta-roles.
(Some) References
Allen, Cynthia. 1995. Case marking and reanalysis. OUP
Borer, Hagit 2005. In Name Only. OUP.
Brinton, Laurel. 1988. The Development of English Aspectual Systems.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gelderen, Elly van 2011. Valency Changes. JHL 1.1: 106-143.
Gelderen, Elly van 2014. Changes in Psych-Verbs. CJL 13: 99-122.
Hale, Ken & Keyser, Samuel Jay. 2002. Prolegomenon to a Theory of
Argument Structure. MIT Press.
Jackendoff, Ray 1987. Consciousness and the Computational Mind. MIT Press.
Lavidas, Nikolaos 2013. Null and cognate objects and changes in
(in)transitivity: Evidence from the history of English. Acta Linguistica
Hungarica 60.1: 69-106.
Leiss, Elisabeth. 2000. Artikel und Aspekt. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Levin, Beth & Malka Rappaport Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity. MIT Press.
Lohndal, Terje 2014. Phrase structure and argument structure. OUP.
McMillion, Allan. 2006. Labile Verbs in English. Stockholm PhD.
Pinker, Steven 1989. Learnability and Cognition. MIT Press.
Ryan, John 2012. The Genesis of Argument Structure. Lambert AP.
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