Argument Structure in Flux in the History of English

Argument Structure in Flux in the History of English

Changes in verbal meaning are systematic Elly van Gelderen University of Salzburg 9 March 2017 Outline How linguists see Argument Structure: Theta-roles and aspect Relevance beyond language: ToM, moral grammar Debates: Lexicon (Levin), Syntax (Hale & Keyser), Conceptual Structure (Jackendoff) Changes:

Unaccusative verbs > adding light verbs + labile and unergatives > transitive + particle verbs Unaccusatives > copulas Unaccusatives > unergatives; Unergatives > unaccusatives Psych-verbs: ObjExp > SuExp; but not the other way round. Argument Structure (1) rain, snow: 0 arguments, as in `It rained. (2) swim, arrive: 1 argument, as in `They swam. (3) eat, see: 2 arguments, as in

`He ate an apple. (4) give, tell: 3 arguments, `They gave us work. Aspectual class is very important for AS durative, a-telic: (5) He ran for hours/*in 5 minutes add a goal > telic (6) He ran to the store in five minutes definite object > telic (7) He ate the turkey -ing > durative, atelic

(8) He was eating turkey for hours. Hopper & Thompson (1980: 252) Theta-roles: Gruber (1965), Fillmore (1968), and Jackendoff (1972), Chomsky (1981: 34ff) Verbs are listed in the lexicon with their thetaroles (theta-grids) and there needs to be a matching number of arguments to theta-roles in the syntax. If eat is listed as needing two thetaroles (Agent and Theme), there will need to be two arguments (now DPs) and to each argument a theta-roles will have to be assigned.

Theta-roles incorporate some aspect etc. Agent: an animate entity that deliberately brings about the event. Causer: entity responsible for (initiating) an event Experiencer: an animate entity that experiences the event Theme: person or object affected by the action Goal: animate entity that the event is done to or for Result: state resulting from the event Path: path of the event Manner: manner of the event

Instrument: instrument through which the event occurs Intransitives can have a Theme (fall) or Agent (work) Agent vs Theme Unergative (Agent) Unaccusative (Theme) -deliberately is ok deliberately is not ok -Agent is human/animate Agent can be +/-animate -a Theme can be added no Theme can be added -V+er*V+er -*nominalization with of nominalization with of ok Dowty (1991) typed unergatives as atelic and unaccusatives as telic and Tenny (1987: 264) writes that

unergatives tend to describe non-delimited events, while unaccusatives tend to describe delimited events Unergatives bicycle, burp, cough, crawl, cry, dance, daydream, frown, grin, hop, jog, kneel, laugh, limp, resign, run, scream, shout, smile, swim, speak, sneeze, sleep, talk, walk, work, yell. Unaccusatives Alternating: begin, burn, decrease, drop, fall, freeze, grow, increase, melt, reduce, stop, spread, widen

Non-alternating: appear, arise, arrive, come, depart, emerge, ensue, exist, follow, occur, remain, sit Acquisition Bloom et al (1980) show that children are conscious of aspectual verb classes very early on. Thus, ed morphemes go with non-durative events, -ing with durative noncompletive activities, and infinitives with stative verbs. Various researchers agree on this, e.g. Broman Olsen & Weinberg (1999) likewise show that a telic verb correlates with the presence of ed and that ing is frequent with dynamic and durative verbs. The next slide lists all the adjectives and verbs for Eve at the

time of her first recording. All types of verbs are there and a few of the activity verbs are marked with ing (swimming and writing) and a past is marked on an unaccusative (broke). Eve at 1;6 unaccusative unergativetransitive other block broke (fish are) swimming Eve pencil (Neil) sit wait, play, cook I did it down, busy, gone look Eve/you find it Mommy down, open Eve writingsee ya

come down, stand dance doll eat celery sit down, fall down Mommy step read the puzzle (finger) stuck Mommy swing? change her lie down stool man (no) taste it get her/it fix (it)/ Mommy fix bring it want Mommy letter write a paper man/papa have it (you) find it

play (step) that radio Naimas first words 0;11.28 delicious, down, good, eat, there 1;0.28 beep, beeper, down, go 1;1.11 late, roll, whered it go? 1;1.25 get baby, slide, truck went by, good 1;2.07 buy, down 1;2.23 bumping, down, keep it, sink, sleeping, sleepy, slide, squeeze, up 1;3.07 beep beep, buy, clean(ed), cold, give Mommy, gone, hot, messy, on,

pick music, play tower, slide, up Theme-arguments (down, good, late, roll, slide, went by); transitive (eat, buy), labile (clean, sink), Unergative (sleep, beep). Aspect: unaccusative/causative has ed (cleaned) and unergative/transitive has ing (bumping, sleeping). Broader relevance Argument structure forms the basis of our propositions and, without it, there is no meaning. It is likely that AS is part of our larger

cognitive system and not restricted to the language faculty. `Mistakes in acquisition minor so AS is part of the Conceptual Structure AS plays a role in our moral grammar where agents are assigned more responsibility than causers. Bickerton (1990: 67) puts it, [a]rgument structure ... is universal. All languages have verbs for eating and drinking and those verbs would have an Agent and a Theme connected with them. Arguments are also

represented in the syntax in predictable ways. An Agent will be higher in the hierarchical structure than a Theme, unless they are clearly marked as not following the Thematic Hierarchy. Bickerton (1990: 185) suggests that the universality of thematic structure suggests a deep-rooted ancestry, perhaps one lying outside language altogether. If argument/thematic structure predates the emergence of language, an understanding of causation, intentionality, volition - all relevant to determining

theta-structure - may be part of our larger cognitive system and not restricted to the language faculty. It then fits that argument structure is relevant to other parts of our cognitive make-up, e.g. the moral grammar. Gray et al. (2007), for instance, argue that moral judgment depends on mind perception, ascribing agency and experience to other entities. De Waal (e.g. 2006) has shown that chimps and bonobos show empathy, planning, and attribute minds to others. Agency, intention, animacy

Pre-linguistic children connect agency with intention (Metzoff 1995) and with animacy (Golinkoff 1985), and know causality (Leslie & Keeble 1987). Hauser et al (2007) have shown that moral judgments are not the same as justifications and that the former are likely part of a moral grammar. As for theta-roles, Snyder, Hyams & Crisma (1995), Costa & Friedmann (2012), and Ryan (2012) show that children distinguish intransitive verbs with Agents from those with Themes from when they start using these verbs. Pre-linguistic children know causality. Lakusta & Carey (2015) show that the Goal is more salient to one-year olds than the Source.

Debates: in lexicon/conceptual structure or added? Assume that argument structure is universal, is it directly tied to the conceptual structure, as argued by Jackendoff in various publications (e.g. 1997) and only indirectly to the syntax? Ramchand (2008) has similar ideas about how the meaning of a verb consists of a start, process, and result and these translate into syntactic structure, or vP-shell. Borer (2005) and Lohndal (2014): no AS in the lexicon.

AS and change If AS is outside the linguistic system, humans without language could have had it and so can other species. The language learner has an active role in language change. If a verb becomes ambiguous, as happens with morphological erosion or aspectual coercion, the learner may analyze it in a different way from the speakers s/he is listening to Since argument structure is often seen as the least variable part of language, it makes sense to see if this holds in language change and what we can

learn from change. Verb types in Old English (1)& hit rine & sniwe & styrme ute. and it rain and snow and storm out `and it rains, snows, and storms outside. (OED, Bede ii. x. 134) (2)a geseah he swymman scealfran on flode. Then saw he swim (diver) birds in the flow (of water) Then he saw birds swim in the water. (OED, lfric Homilies II. 516) (3)Se hf ece lif e ytt min flsc.

he has eternal life that eats my flesh (OED, West Saxon Gospels, John, Corpus Cambr. vi. 54) (4)Him scippend gaf wuldorlicne wlite. him lord gave wonderful appearance `The lord gave him a wonderful appearance. (OED, Solomon & Saturn 56) Unergative and unaccusative in OE (1)Heo on wrace syan seomodon swearte sie, ne orfton hlude hlihhan They in exile since continued black occasion, not needed loudly laugh

`From then on, those spirits dwelt in exile; they had no need to laugh loudly. (Genesis 71) (2)Nfre on ore lg widcues wig, onne walu feollon. never on front lay.down famous fight, then slaughtered.ones fell. `He was always in front when others fell around him. (Beowulf 1041-2) Unaccusative has passive participle (3)

Fyr, forst, hgel and gefeallen snaw, is and yste, fire, frost, and fallen snow, ice and storm (Paris Psalter 148.8) and be/have is sometimes telling: (4)a hie a hfdon feoran dl re ea geswummen, then they then had fourth part that river swum `When they had swum a quarter of that river, .... (Alexander's Letter to Aristotle: Orchard, 1995 224-52, 15.12) (5)hu sio lar Ldengeiodes r issum how that knowledge of.Latin before this afeallen ws giond Angelcynn, ... fallen was throughout England

`how the knowledge of Latin had decayed throughout England. (Alfred, Pastoral Care, 7.15-6). UnergativeUnaccusative a. (self)willes appears %(self)willes b. a Theme can be added no Theme can appear c. V+er %V+er d. Imperative appearsno imperative e %prenominal past prenominal past participle participle f. be + perfect participle have + perfect part g. Impersonal passive: occurs with either verb type;

possible causative h. SV and VS more VS in subordinate clauses Sorace Hierarchy Change of Location come, arrive, fall UNACC Change of State begin, rise, blossom, die Continuation of a pre-existing state remain, last, survive Existence of State exist, please, belong Uncontrolled Process cough, laugh, shine

Controlled Process (motion) run, swim, walk, ring, rumble Controlled Process (non-motion) work, play, talk UNERG From OE>ME: Loss of Intransitives a) a complete loss of the verb, e.g. bifian `to shake, b) the loss of prefixes and addition of resultative particles, e.g. aberstan `burst out, escape, c) the replacement by light verbs and adjective or noun, e.g. emtian `become empty, d) a change to labile verbs, e.g. dropian `drop,

i.e. alternating between causative and unaccusative, and e) increase in (manner of) motion (Fanego 2012) 81 intransitives from Visser aberstan `burst out, escape Th particle verb ablican `shine A/Th obsolete ablinan `cease, desistTh obsolete fnian `become evening 0 light v mtian/emtian `become empty Th light v (and labile) rnan `run

A labile (caus, unerg, unacc) tfellan `fall away Th particle verb tglidan `disappear, glide away Th particle verb tslidan `slip, slide Th labile tspringan `rush forth Th obsolete aferscan `become fresh, Th light v afulian `become fowl, rot Th light v alatian `to grow sluggish Th obsolete aleoran `to depart/flee Th obsolete

ascortian `become short/pass away Th light v aslapan `slumber, fall asleep Th obsolete berstan `burst Th burst labile (causative rare) bifian `tremble/shakeA obsolete blinnan `cease Th obsolete brogdian, brogdettan `tremble A obsolete bugan `bow down/bendTh labile cidan `quarrel, complain A transitive cirman `cry (out) A obsolete climban (upp) `climb A (same and) transitive cloccian `cluck, make noise A transitive (archaic)

clum(m)ian `mumble, mutter A obsolete clymmian `climb A (particle verb and) transitive cneatian `argue A obsolete cneowian `kneel down A obsolete cnitian `dispute A obsolete creopan `crawl A same: creep cuman `come, approach, arrive Th same: come (to) Results Obsolete 39 Unchanged 15

Light v 9 unaccusatives Particle 6 Labile 7 unaccusatives Transitive 5 unergatives Total 81

Conclusions from the 81 verbs The verbs that are replaced by light verbs are deadjectival and denominal verbs, namely fnian, mtian, aferscan, afulian, ascortian, dimmian, fordragan, and gegyltan: all unaccusative verbs in Old English but the new light verb determines whether it is unaccusative or causative. The change to labile verb affects rnan, tslidan, berstan, droppian, droppetan, and growan. Apart from rnan, these are all unaccusative and end up with an optional causative. The case of rnan is complex; it is an unergative in Old English but acquires causative and

unaccusative meanings. The new particle verbs replace a prefix, as in aberstan, tfellan, tglidan, forscrincan, forgangangan, and forrsan. Like the prefixes, the new particles indicate a path or result and imply perfective aspect. The five unergative verbs that become transitive are cidan, climban, cloccian, clymmian, and felan. Cloccian is archaic but the others acquire a regular Theme.

So Increase in light verbs, labile, and transitive verbs and: 21/81 are motion verbs: aberstan, rnan, tfellan, tglidan, tslidan, tspringan, aleoran, clymmian, cneowian, creopan `crawl, dufan to dive, dwelsian, dwolian, fleotan, fordwinan, forfaran, forgangan, forrsan, forweaxan, and glidan; cuman is unspecified. Many are manner of motion; 10/21 are particle verbs because the particle provides the path. Of these 21, 7 become obsolete so, compared to all intransitives, these are relatively resilient.

Morphological changes at the end of OE loss of affixes -i causative (results in more labile Vs) ge-participle (results in more transitives Vs) prefixes (path/result) development of articles and loss of object Case increase in particles (to add path and result) increase in light verbs (to take over for i and ge-) Aspectual prefix loss (Brinton 1988)

adruwian dry up aswapan sweep off, clean bedrincan absorb belucan enclose forswelgan swallow up formeltan melt away forbringan produce forsiian go forth, die fulfremman fulfill fullbetan satisfy ofltan give up oftredan tread down oferhelian conceal ofergan overrun tobeatan beat apart tosyndrian separate urhtrymman corroborate urhdreogan carry through ymbhringan surround ymbhycgan consider

Causative still productive in OE? dropan 'drop' drepan 'moisten', belgan 'be/become angry bielgan 'irritate', hweorfan 'turn/go/die hwierfan 'turn/destroy ', meltan 'melt, burn up, be digested mieltan 'melt/purge', sincan 'sink sencan 'sink, submerge/drown', springan 'jump/burst forth/spread' sprengan 'scatter/burst', nesan 'escape from/be saved nerian 'save/protect', sgan 'sink/fall/move' sgan 'cause to sink/fell/destroy', scrincan 'shrink/wither screncan 'cause to shrink',

feallan 'fall/flow/die fiellan 'fell/defeat/destroy' Labile, 55 acc. to Visser abrecan break, abreoan unsettle/ruin, acirran turn, acumen come, acweccan shake, acwician quicken/revive, tiewan show, tstandan stand/remain, aslacian become/make slack, baian bathe, blawan blow, blissian be glad/make glad, brecan break, bregdan move quickly/ shake, buan live, byrnan burn, cierran turn, clipian speak, cry out, cwanian lament/mourn, dragan drag, dwelian go/lead astray, dwellan wander/lead astray, eardian live/inhabit, fleon fly/flee, fon take, geotan pour, gladian be glad/rejoice, healdan hold/procede, hefigan become/make heavy, hildan lean/hold, hlnan lean/cause to lean,

hweorfan/hwierfan turn/change, lacan jump/play, lstan follow/endure, langian long for/lengthen, mieran scatter/disturb, miswendan err/abuse, ofergan traverse, oferfaran traverse, openian open, plegan move, sadian weary, samnian assemble/meet, sargian suffer/cause pain, sarian become painful/feel sorry for, scotian move rapidly, spyrian go/pursue, tolicgan lie/separate, tostregdan scatter, tostencan scatter, tydran produce, eostrian darken, ringan press (on), wanian diminish, wlitigian become/make beautiful And few (27) more > Mod E 800 estrian 'darken', ahnescian 'become soft/make soft', brdan 'broaden/grow', dlan divide, gedieglan hide,

drygan 'become dry/dry', hlewan 'become warm/warm', stillan 'be still/quiet', biterian 'become bitter/make bitter', cwician 'come to life/enliven', gdian 'be better/make better', heardian 'harden/make hard', hefegian 'become heavy/make heavy', hlnian 'become lean/make lean', hluttrian 'become clean/clean', lytlian 'lessen/decrease', gemetgian 'moderate oneself/moderate', micelian 'become great/increase', minsian 'diminish', nearwian 'become smaller/make smaller', openian 'open', swian 'become strong/strengthen', swutulian/sweotolian 'become manifest/make clear', iccian 'thicken', ynnian 'become thin/make thin', yfelian 'become bad/make bad', wendan change.

ME causatives: make, -en and zero blacken, brighten, broaden, cheapen, coarsen, dampen, darken, deafen, deepen, fasten, fatten, flatten, freshen, frighten, gladden, harden, hasten, hearten, heighten, lengthen, lessen, lighten, loosen, madden, moisten, neaten, quicken, quieten, redden, ripen, roughen, sadden, sharpen, shorten, sicken, slacken, smarten, soften, stiffen, straighten, strengthen, sweeten, tauten, tighten, toughen, waken, weaken, whiten, widen, worsen

and ate, -ify, -ize, etc... but English `likes zero: brown, clean, clear, cool, crisp, dim, dirty, dry, dull, empty, even, firm, level, loose, mellow, muddy, narrow, open, pale, quiet, round, shut, slack, slim, slow, smooth, sober, sour, steady, tame, tan, tense, thin, warm, yellow Interim conclusion 1 What does AS tell us: Few mistakes in acquisition

Diachronic instability in the expression of v/ASP but very predictable change: unaccusative > causative unergative > transitive Aspect is stable Next: copulas and psych-verbs Change to copulas etc... Curme (1935: 66-8): 60 copulas in English; no other language shows such a vigorous growth of copulas (67). Visser (1963: 213-9) lists over a 100 for the various stages.

Unaccusative > copula appear, become, fall, go, grow, turn, wane, break, last, remain, rest, stay, continue The types of unaccusative copulas Change of Location come, fall, befall, drift, go telic Change of State break, blush, become, appear telic Continuation of a remain, stay, persist, persevere dur pre-existing state stand, lie, rest, loom Existence of State seem, appearstative Uncontrolled process -Controlled process (motional) go telic

Controlled process (non-motional) --- Interim conclusion 2 Unaccusative > causative Unaccusative > copula Theme is stable Old > Modern English: a reanalysis of the aspect features. Although the basic syntactic tree remains the same, there are minor changes in the v and ASP and which lexical elements occupy them. Now: instability of Theme

ObjExp fran/fear OE-1480 lician/like OE-1800 loathe OE-1600 marvel 1380-1500 relish 1567-1794 SuExp

1400-now 1200-now 1200-now 1380-now 1580-now Loss of causative i-: many Exp verbs are causative and therefore reanalyzed fran < *frjan rjan `frighten `Last ObjExp with `fear (1)e fend move es debletis to fere Cristene

[men] fro treue. `The enemy moves these devils to frighten Christian men from the truth. (MED, a1425 Wycl.Serm. Bod 788 2.328) (2)Thus he shal yow with his wordes fere. `Thus, hell frighten you with his words. (MED, Chaucer TC 4.1483) The addition of result/instrument in ObjExp emphasizes Change of State in the later stages. First SuExp with `fear

(1) Fele ferde for e freke(z), lest felle hym e worre. `Many feared for the man lest the worst happened to him. (MED, c1390 Gawain Nero A.10 1588) (2)I fere me at I shuld stond in drede. `I fear that I shall stand in dread. (MED, a1500 Play Sacr. Dub 652 218) The ambiguity depends on whether the postverbal pronoun is seen as a reflexive or not. Thus, it is not clear whether (2) means `I frighten myself that ... or `I fear that ...

Changes Many of the OE ObjExp are productive causatives: a-hwnan `vex, afflict, gremman `enrage, abylgan `anger, swencan `harrass, a-rytan `weary, wgan `vex, and wyrdan `annoy. So, does the loss of the causative in ferian cause reanalysis? Possibly with ferian but not with marvel and relish. Reanalysis

Renewal of Object Experiencers anger, scare 1200 Old Norse grieve 1330 French please 1350 Anglo-Norman astonish 1375 unclear irritate 1531 Latin frighten 1666 internal change stun 1700 internal change madden1726 internal change bore 1768 internal change worry 1807 internal change

New ObjExp: new v-Cause (1) Suche daunsis, whichedyd with vnclene motions or countinances irritate the myndes of the dauncers to venereall lustes. (1531 Elyot Bk. named Gouernouri. xix. sig. Kijv) (2) Impietydoth embitter all the conveniencies and comforts of life. (a1677 I. Barrow Serm. Several Occasions 1678: 52) (3) Which at first did frighten people more than anything. (1666 S. Pepys Diary 4 Sept VII 275) Agent and Th > Th/Cause and Exp: reintroduction of cause-v

(1) a. They kill it [a fish] by first stunning it with a knock with a mallet. (OED 1662 J. Davies tr. A. Olearius Voy & Trav. Ambassadors 165) b. The ball, which had been nearly spent before it struck him, had stunned instead of killing him. (OED, 1837 Irving Capt. Bonneville I. 271) (2) Why doe Witches and old women, fascinate and bewitch children? (OED 1621 R. Burton Anat Melancholy i. ii. iii. ii. 127) Current changes: ExpSu>Agent?

(1) I am liking/loving/hating it. E.g. in COCA: (2) how I got guard duty and how I'm going to be hating that and totally tired. (3) and I am liking what I see in the classrooms (4) lately we've been loving broccoli rabe, which (5) And so everybody in town was knowing that this was happening (6) I've been fearing the answers. Reanalysis of object experiencer as subject experiencer verbs

loathe: like: fear: marvel: relish: OE-1600 OE-1800 OE-1480 1380-1500 1567-1794

1200-present 1200-present 1400-present 1380-present 1580-present Another v-change: Cyclical change in psych-verbs Acquisition Eve (Brown 1973) has SuExp like, love, want but not

ObjExp anger, scare; her hurt is SuExp initially. Eve love crayon (1;9), want mommy letter (1;6), want watch (1;6), want mommy out (1;6), want lunch, want down, want mommy read (1;6) ... but: hurt xxx self (1;7), hurt knee (1;9), I hurt my finger (1;11) Sarah has early want (2;3), love (2;5), and hurt as in: I hurt again (2;9.6). Her scare is late at 3;7: to scare me on the dark (3;7.16) So is cause-v late? Probably not: Weezer break my mirror (Tomasello 1992: 337,

T. 1;8.19) How come you had a little trouble going it? (Bowerman 1974, C. 3:5) Ryan (2008; 2012) shows how the Theme emerges first, e.g. drop, fall, up etc. are the first predicates. That may be why the ObjExp is reanalyzed as SuExp. Linguistic conclusions Changes: Unaccusative > causative (labile and light verbs)

Unergative > transitive Unaccusative > copula Increase in light verbs and particles Increase in lability: 80 > 800 Changes in the light v inventory but vP shell is stable Psych-verb and copula: Theme is crucial and stable Conceptual Structure? Aspectual +/-telic, +/- durative is pervasive Verbs always have a Theme argument but they

dont always have an Agent or Causer. The latter are introduced by optional light verbs which may be overt or not. The vP shell is stable and may show the conceptual structure with an emphasis on aspect and theta-roles. (Some) References Allen, Cynthia. 1995. Case marking and reanalysis. OUP Borer, Hagit 2005. In Name Only. OUP. Brinton, Laurel. 1988. The Development of English Aspectual Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gelderen, Elly van 2011. Valency Changes. JHL 1.1: 106-143. Gelderen, Elly van 2014. Changes in Psych-Verbs. CJL 13: 99-122. Hale, Ken & Keyser, Samuel Jay. 2002. Prolegomenon to a Theory of Argument Structure. MIT Press. Jackendoff, Ray 1987. Consciousness and the Computational Mind. MIT Press. Lavidas, Nikolaos 2013. Null and cognate objects and changes in (in)transitivity: Evidence from the history of English. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 60.1: 69-106. Leiss, Elisabeth. 2000. Artikel und Aspekt. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Levin, Beth & Malka Rappaport Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity. MIT Press. Lohndal, Terje 2014. Phrase structure and argument structure. OUP. McMillion, Allan. 2006. Labile Verbs in English. Stockholm PhD. Pinker, Steven 1989. Learnability and Cognition. MIT Press.

Ryan, John 2012. The Genesis of Argument Structure. Lambert AP.

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