Article published in:Variation and Change in the Encoding of Motion Events
Edited by Juliana Goschler and Anatol Stefanowitsch
[Human Cognitive Processing 41] 2013
► pp. 203–222
Caused-motion verbs in the Middle English intransitive motion construction
Based on an analysis of more than 300 Middle English verbs attested in the intransitive motion construction, this chapter shows that among them, different from Present-Day English, there is a surprisingly high proportion of verbs that are primarily verbs of caused motion, such as throuen ‘throw’. I argue here that the sporadic intransitive motion use of these verbs may be explained by a number of formally and semantically similar patterns in which both intransitive and caused-motion verbs occur. These include be + past participle and the combination with a reflexive pronoun. These patterns form a closely-knit family of constructions tending to blur the distinction between the two types of verbs.
Keywords: construction grammar, Middle English, reflexive pronoun, transitivity, verb of motion
Published online: 14 November 2013