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Middle English Verbs of Emotion and Impersonal ConstructionsVerb Meaning and Syntax in Diachrony$
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Ayumi Miura

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199947157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199947157.001.0001

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Semantic Distinctions between Impersonal and Non-impersonal Verbs of Emotion

Semantic Distinctions between Impersonal and Non-impersonal Verbs of Emotion

Evidence from Entries in the Middle English Dictionary

(p.95) Chapter 5 Semantic Distinctions between Impersonal and Non-impersonal Verbs of Emotion
Middle English Verbs of Emotion and Impersonal Constructions

Ayumi Miura

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 offers a careful analysis of the data from the entries of the Middle English Dictionary according to the five factors which were identified in Chapter 2 as possibly having influenced the presence or absence of impersonal usage with verbs of emotion, namely constructional patterns (intransitive, transitive, passive, reflexive), animacy of the Target of Emotion, argument alternation (especially conative alternation), causation, and aspect (stative or eventive). Not only the verbs in the seven ‘Emotion’ categories in the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary with impersonal usage but also the verbs in three of the categories without it (Jealousy/envy, Pride, Courage) are examined in detail. All the five factors turn out to have an effect on the boundaries between impersonal and near-synonymous non-impersonal verbs. The chapter also points to several impersonal verbs which have not been recognized in the literature.

Keywords:   animacy, aspect, causation, conative alternation, Middle English Dictionary, passive, reflexive, stative, Target of Emotion

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