Chapter published in:Give Constructions across Languages
Edited by Myriam Bouveret
[Constructional Approaches to Language 29] 2021
► pp. 25–54
Metaphor meets grammar in a radial network of
give verbs in Romance
Verbs of giving exhibit similar semantics across languages, even when used to express something other than the physical act of transferring an object from a giver to a recipient. Existing studies of various dimensions of give verbs in Germanic (Joseph 2000), Slavic (Janda 1998, von Waldenfels 2015) and other language families have identified some commonalities across frame structures and grammatical patterns. However, questions remain as to the delineation of different senses, and the relationship among those senses, especially considering that most uses of give verbs in common parlance do not refer to concrete transfer scenarios.I suggest that a radial polysemy network for senses of give in their constructional contexts, complete with metaphoric extensions that involve high-level universally-available primary metaphors, can account for common yet often puzzling senses. (Consider the use of Romanian give in a da de gol (to give someone away, to betray), and Spanish dar in dar de sí (to become loose)).The semantics of verbs of giving depends in large part on the semantics of the argument structure construction co-occurring with the verb. In this paper, an account of give verbs in Romance is offered, with a particular focus on a da in Romanian, dar in Spanish, and donner in French. I put forth a radial network account, starting with a core sense grounded in the Object Transfer scenario, and extending into metonymic and metaphoric senses. A detailed analysis of constructionally-motivated metaphoric senses reveals that metaphor is built into the argument structure construction for many idiomatic uses of give.
Keywords: diachrony, grammaticalization chain, lexicalization, constructionalization, language innovation, polysemy, polyfunctionality
- 2.Prototype and extensions
- 3.Metaphoric constructions expressing physical scenes
- 3.1Metaphoric duality in the grammar of causation
- 4. Metaphoric senses in cognition, emotion, communication, and self domains
- 5. Extending CEMs to LEMs
Published online: 10 March 2021
Bouveret, M., & Sweetser, E. E.
Brugman, C. M.
(1988) The syntax and semantics of HAVE and its complements. PhD dissertation, University of California Berkeley.
Brugman, C. M., & Lakoff, G.
Dodge, E. K., & Lakoff, G.
Fillmore, C. J.
Gibbs, R. W., Beitel, D. A., Harrington, M., & Sanders, P. E.
Goldberg, A. E.
Joseph, B. D.
(2015) How Europeans give: A two-layered semantic typology based on two parallel corpora. In B. Nolan, G. Rawoens, & E. Diedrichsen (Eds.), Causation, permission, and transfer: Argument realisation in GET, take, PUT, give, and LET verbs (pp. 147–175). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Núñez, R., & Sweetser, E. E.
Reddy, M. J.
Slobin, D. I.
Steen, G. J.
Sullivan, K. S.
(2007) Grammar in metaphor: A Construction Grammar account of metaphoric language. PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
Sweetser, E. E.
Tyler, A., & Evans, V.
Wittenberg, E., Jackendoff, R., Kuperberg, G., Paczynski, M., Snedeker, J., Wiese, H., & Wittenberg, E.