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Cycles in Language Change$
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Miriam Bouzouita, Anne Breitbarth, Lieven Danckaert, and Elisabeth Witzenhausen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824961.001.0001

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Changes in the argument and event structure of psych verbs in the history of Spanish

Changes in the argument and event structure of psych verbs in the history of Spanish

Chapter:
(p.249) 13 Changes in the argument and event structure of psych verbs in the history of Spanish
Source:
Cycles in Language Change
Author(s):

Montserrat Batllori

Elisabeth Gibert-Sotelo

Isabel Pujol

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198824961.003.0013

This chapter offers a detailed study of changes affecting the argument structure of Spanish psych verbs that appear with a dative experiencer (EXP). After proposing a three-way classification of these verbs based on their etymological origin, the chapter traces two parallel, but interconnected, diachronic paths: the first one involves the development from transitive (or pronominal) to unaccusative constructions with a dative EXP, whereas the second one concerns the evolution from dynamic to stative events. The use and decrease of the passive in Classical Spanish is also shown to play a role in this change: to wit, passive and unaccusative structures with a dative EXP are structurally similar, as the prepositional agent phrase and the dative EXP originate in the same position.

Keywords:   Spanish, psych verb, argument structure, event structure, linguistic cycle, gustar, passive, unaccusative, transitive, experiencer

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