Article published in:The Structure of the English NP: Synchronic and diachronic explorations
Edited by Kristin Davidse
[Functions of Language 23:1] 2016
► pp. 84–119
The Great Complement Shift revisited
The constructionalization of ACC-ing gerundives
This paper examines the history of the ACC-ing gerundive, a subtype of verbal gerund differing formally from both bare gerundives (I enjoyed reading the paper) and POSS-ing gerundives (I was surprised at Jane’s arriving late) in having an overt subject argument either in the common case, if it is a full noun phrase (Two people worrying about each other, with no external diversion, brews a deadly atmosphere) or in the accusative case, if it is a personal pronoun (You can’t prevent me telling the truth). Findings from a corpus-based study show that early instances of ACC-ing gerundives most often functioned as preverbal sentential subjects and served as arguments to causative predicates such as brew, make and oblige. Based on this evidence, it is argued that ACC-ing gerundives have emerged as an intersection of a number of pre-existing constructions, most especially a subtype of absolute participle, now obsolete, that encoded causative (factive) semantics and preceded its superordinate clause. The development of the new gerundive subtype from this participial source, which proceeded as a succession of small discrete steps, can be fruitfully accounted for as a case of constructional change, along the lines proposed in Hilpert (2013) and Traugott & Trousdale (2013).
Published online: 16 June 2016
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Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad & Edward Finegan
Brinton, Laurel & Leslie K. Arnovik
De Smet, Hendrik
Duffley, Patrick J.
Expósito, María Cruz
Fonteyn, Lauren, Hendrik De Smet & Liesbet Heyvaert
Goldberg, Adele E.
Huddleston, Rodney, Geoffrey K. Pullum et al.
Killie, Kristin & Toril Swan
Langacker, Ronald W.
Milic, Louis T.
Mustanoja, Tauno F.
Naro, Anthony J.
Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech & Jan Svartvik
Thompson, Sandra A.
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Graeme Trousdale
Van de Velde, Freek, Hendrik De Smet & Lobke Ghesquière
Van Valin, Robert D. & Randy J. LaPolla
Visser, Frederikus Theodorus
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