Publication details [#14540]

Johnson, Cynthia, Peter Alexander Kerkhof, Leonid Kulikov, Esther Le Mair and Jóhanna Barðdal. 2019. Argument structure, conceptual metaphor and semantic change: How to succeed in Indo-European without really trying. Diachronica 36 (4) : 463–508. 46 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: John Benjamins


The paper investigates the emergence of verbs of success from more semantically concrete verbs and the role of six conceptual metaphors in this processes of semantic change originating from Proto-Indo-European. Based on a historical semantics theoretical perspective, the authors stress the importance of predicate and argument structures for lexical semantic developments. The research reveals a reconstructed Proto-Indo-European verb-class-specific argument structure (DAT-‘succeeds’) which is systematically mapped on the novel (and reconstructed) SUCCESS IS MOTION FORWARD conceptual mapping.