Argument Structure in Flux

Argument Structure in Flux

Author: Noelia Castro-Chao

Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften

ISBN: 303434189X

Page: 300

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Verbs of Desire underwent important changes in the course of their histories.

The class of verbs of Desire comprises verbs whose syntax and semantics have undergone important changes in the course of their histories. Their argument structure involves a Desirer and a Desired, and in earlier English they could be used impersonally in constructions lacking a subject marked for the nominative case. The book presents three case studies based on a comprehensive survey of the entries in the Oxford English Dictionary and the Middle English Dictionary and on corpus data retrieved from EEBOCorp 1.0 (1470s-1690s). The results obtained unveil the loss of impersonal uses and their gradual replacement by personal patterns, in particular a pattern where the verb governs a prepositional complement representing the Desired as a metaphorical goal.



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