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'Caused Motion'? The semantics of the English to-dative and the Dutch aan-dative

Timothy Colleman (UGent) and Bernard De Clerck (UGent)
(2009) COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS. 20(1). p.5-42
Author
Organization
Abstract
Both English and Dutch feature a variety of verbs of possessional transfer which display the phenomenon of dative alternation. They can either be used in a double object construction with unmarked NP theme and recipient objects or in a so-called “prepositional dative” construction in which only the theme is encoded as a bare NP object and the recipient is marked by a preposition. Within this context of dative alternation, this study zooms in on the English prepositional dative construction with to and the Dutch prepositional dative construction with aan (cognate with English on, German an). Existing analyses of these constructions hold widely different views on the semantic import of the prepositions used: some authors take the preposition to bring an element of ‘caused motion’ to the semantics of the construction, while others treat it as a grammaticalized marker of recipient function. We shall argue for an intermediate position: while the constructions with to and aan are not limited to events which involve an actual spatial transfer but cover a wide variety of ‘caused possession’ events, they are nevertheless subject to a number of constraints which can be traced back to the spatial semantics of English to and Dutch aan. These semantic constraints will be illustrated by means of corpus-based observations on the behaviour of a number of English and Dutch verbs in the respective dative alternations.

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MLA
Colleman, Timothy, and Bernard De Clerck. “‘Caused Motion’? The Semantics of the English To-dative and the Dutch Aan-dative.” COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS 20.1 (2009): 5–42. Print.
APA
Colleman, T., & De Clerck, B. (2009). “Caused Motion”? The semantics of the English to-dative and the Dutch aan-dative. COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS, 20(1), 5–42.
Chicago author-date
Colleman, Timothy, and Bernard De Clerck. 2009. “‘Caused Motion’? The Semantics of the English To-dative and the Dutch Aan-dative.” Cognitive Linguistics 20 (1): 5–42.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Colleman, Timothy, and Bernard De Clerck. 2009. “‘Caused Motion’? The Semantics of the English To-dative and the Dutch Aan-dative.” Cognitive Linguistics 20 (1): 5–42.
Vancouver
1.
Colleman T, De Clerck B. “Caused Motion”? The semantics of the English to-dative and the Dutch aan-dative. COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS. Berlin ; GERMANY: De Gruyter; 2009;20(1):5–42.
IEEE
[1]
T. Colleman and B. De Clerck, “‘Caused Motion’? The semantics of the English to-dative and the Dutch aan-dative,” COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 5–42, 2009.
@article{602574,
  abstract     = {Both English and Dutch feature a variety of verbs of possessional transfer which display the phenomenon of dative alternation. They can either be used in a double object construction with unmarked NP theme and recipient objects or in a so-called “prepositional dative” construction in which only the theme is encoded as a bare NP object and the recipient is marked by a preposition. Within this context of dative alternation, this study zooms in on the English prepositional dative construction with to and the Dutch prepositional dative construction with aan (cognate with English on, German an). Existing analyses of these constructions hold widely different views on the semantic import of the prepositions used: some authors take the preposition to bring an element of ‘caused motion’ to the semantics of the construction, while others treat it as a grammaticalized marker of recipient function. We shall argue for an intermediate position: while the constructions with to and aan are not limited to events which involve an actual spatial transfer but cover a wide variety of ‘caused possession’ events, they are nevertheless subject to a number of constraints which can be traced back to the spatial semantics of English to and Dutch aan. These semantic constraints will be illustrated by means of corpus-based observations on the behaviour of a number of English and Dutch verbs in the respective dative alternations.},
  author       = {Colleman, Timothy and De Clerck, Bernard},
  issn         = {0936-5907},
  journal      = {COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {5--42},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  title        = {'Caused Motion'? The semantics of the English to-dative and the Dutch aan-dative},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2009},
}

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