Chapter published in:Nodes and Networks in Diachronic Construction Grammar
Edited by Lotte Sommerer and Elena Smirnova
[Constructional Approaches to Language 27] 2020
► pp. 167–212
Constructional networks and the development of benefactive ditransitives in English
In this paper, we address the question of how to model syntactic alternations in Diachronic Construction Grammar terms. We argue that positing horizontal links between constructions in addition to vertical ones is particularly beneficial in accounting for change. Our case study is the emergence of the English “benefactive alternation”, with focus on its relation to the more pervasive and more thoroughly studied “dative alternation”. Based on a quantitative investigation of ditransitive benefactive verbs in Early English Books Online (EEBO), we locate the emergence of the benefactive alternation in Early Modern English later than the dative alternation, which arose in Middle English. We conclude that the benefactive alternation can be modelled as complex networks featuring both horizontal and vertical links on various levels of schematicity.
Keywords: ditransitives, benefactives, syntactic alternations, constructional networks, allostructions, horizontal links, Early Modern English
- 2.Theoretical background
- 2.1A constructional taxonomic model
- 2.2Accounting for constructional alternations
- 3.Ditransitives, benefactives, and the benefactive
- 3.1Benefactives in Present Day English
- 3.2Benefactives in Old and Middle English
- 4.Data and methodology for a corpus-based study of benefactives in Early Modern English
- 5.Findings of the corpus study
- 5.1All verbs
- 5.2Selected benefactive verbs
- 6.Constructional networks in the history of English
- 6.1Modelling the emergence of the English benefactive alternation
- 6.2The value of postulating horizontal links
Published online: 13 May 2020
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Cited by 8 other publications
No author info given
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Traugott, Elizabeth Closs
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