Edited by Jóhanna Barðdal, Elena Smirnova, Lotte Sommerer and Spike Gildea
[Constructional Approaches to Language 18] 2015
► pp. 213–256
Constructionalization and post-constructionalization
The constructional semantics of the Dutch krijgen-passive from a diachronic perspective
The grammatical literature on Dutch generally distinguishes two “passive” alternatives to the active double object construction, one of which, the so-called krijgen-passive is a fairly recent addition to the grammar, the earliest reported examples dating from around 1900. The present chapter addresses the early and subsequent history of this construction from a diachronic constructionist perspective. The first part of the chapter uses data from the 1900–1935 volumes of the Dutch periodical De Gids to reconstruct the lexical and semantic range of the krijgen-passive in its very first decades of life, in order to investigate which (semantic and/or morphological) subclasses of ditransitive verbs played a pathbreaking role in the development of this new construction from other krijgen + participle constructions, i.e. in the constructionalization of the krijgen-passive. The second part of the chapter looks into post-constructionalization semantic change, i.e. into the subsequent expansion of the newly emerged construction towards more sub-classes of ditransitive verbs, on the basis of data from the diachronic CONDIV-corpus (1950s to 1990s). Contra recent non-constructionist proposals, it will be argued that the krijgen-passive is an argument structure construction in its own right, with a semantic dynamics of its own, and that the apparently random constraints on its present-day distribution are less puzzling when viewed against the background of the construction’s genesis and subsequent semantic expansion.
Cited by 8 other publications
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