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Reconstructing the ditransitive construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic

(2019) FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA. 40(2). p.555-620
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Abstract
The semantic range of ditransitive verbs in Modern English has been at the center of linguistic attention ever since the pioneering work of Pinker (1989. Learnability and cognition: The acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press). At the same time, historical research on how the semantics of the ditransitive construction has changed over time has seriously lagged behind. In order to address this issue for the Germanic languages, the Indo- European subbranch to which Modern English belongs, we systematically investigate the narrowly defined semantic verb classes occurring in the ditransitive construction in Gothic, Old English and Old Norse-Icelandic. On the basis of data handed down from Proto-Germanic and documented in the oldest layers of the three Germanic subbranches, East, West and North Germanic, respectively, we show that the constructional range of the ditransitive construction was considerably broader in the earlier historical stages than now; several subclasses of verbs that could instantiate the ditransitive in early Germanic are infelicitous in the ditransitive construction in, for instance, Modern English. Taking the oldest surviving evidence from Germanic as point of departure, we reconstruct the ditransitive construction for an earlier proto-stage, using the formalism of Construction Grammar and incorporating narrowly defined semantic verb classes and higher level conceptual domains. We thus reconstruct the internal structure of the ditransitive construction in Proto-Germanic, including different levels of schematicity.
Keywords
early Germanic, Gothic, Old English, Old Norse-Icelandic, ditransitives, lexical semantic verb classes, syntactic reconstruction, Construction Grammar

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Citation

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MLA
Vázquez-González, Juan Gabriel, and Johanna Barddal. “Reconstructing the Ditransitive Construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic.” FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA, vol. 40, no. 2, 2019, pp. 555–620.
APA
Vázquez-González, J. G., & Barddal, J. (2019). Reconstructing the ditransitive construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic. FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA, 40(2), 555–620.
Chicago author-date
Vázquez-González, Juan Gabriel, and Johanna Barddal. 2019. “Reconstructing the Ditransitive Construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic.” FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA 40 (2): 555–620.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vázquez-González, Juan Gabriel, and Johanna Barddal. 2019. “Reconstructing the Ditransitive Construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic.” FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA 40 (2): 555–620.
Vancouver
1.
Vázquez-González JG, Barddal J. Reconstructing the ditransitive construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic. FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA. 2019;40(2):555–620.
IEEE
[1]
J. G. Vázquez-González and J. Barddal, “Reconstructing the ditransitive construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic,” FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 555–620, 2019.
@article{8613907,
  abstract     = {The semantic range of ditransitive verbs in Modern English has been at the center of linguistic attention ever since the pioneering work of Pinker (1989. Learnability and cognition: The acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge,
Mass: MIT Press). At the same time, historical research on how the semantics of the ditransitive construction has changed over time has seriously lagged behind. In order to address this issue for the Germanic languages, the Indo-
European subbranch to which Modern English belongs, we systematically investigate the narrowly defined semantic verb classes occurring in the ditransitive construction in Gothic, Old English and Old Norse-Icelandic. On the basis of data handed down from Proto-Germanic and documented in the oldest layers of the three Germanic subbranches, East, West and North Germanic, respectively, we show that the constructional range of the ditransitive construction was considerably broader in the earlier historical stages than now; several subclasses of verbs that could instantiate the ditransitive in early Germanic are infelicitous in the ditransitive construction in, for instance, Modern English. Taking the oldest surviving evidence from Germanic as point of departure, we reconstruct the ditransitive construction for an earlier proto-stage, using the formalism of Construction Grammar and incorporating narrowly defined semantic verb
classes and higher level conceptual domains. We thus reconstruct the internal structure of the ditransitive construction in Proto-Germanic, including different levels of schematicity.},
  author       = {Vázquez-González, Juan Gabriel and Barddal, Johanna},
  issn         = {0168-647X},
  journal      = {FOLIA LINGUISTICA HISTORICA},
  keywords     = {early Germanic,Gothic,Old English,Old Norse-Icelandic,ditransitives,lexical semantic verb classes,syntactic reconstruction,Construction Grammar},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {555--620},
  title        = {Reconstructing the ditransitive construction for Proto-Germanic : Gothic, Old English and Old Norse- Icelandic},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/flih-2019-0021},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2019},
}

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