Multiple sources in the copularization of

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Multiple sources in

the copularization of
become

Peter
Petr
é

Functional Linguistics Leuven (FLL)

Research Foundation Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen)

SLE 43


2
-
5 September 2010

Vilnius

Overview


Introduction


Topic


Multiple source constructions and thresholds


English Copular Construction


Productivity


Corpus


Copularization of
becuman


Productivity history


Result Construction


Depictive Construction


Analogy with
weorðan


Influence from French


Conclusions



Introduction

Topic


Development of

Old English (OE)
becuman

(Present Day English [PDE]
become
) from its original sense ‘arrive’ to the sense ‘become’.


Wit
becoman
to ðam walle

‘we
arrived

at the wall’

Þa
bi
-
com
his licome swiðe feble

‘then
became

his body very weak’



Becuman
became
a generally productive copula (
could combine with a
great variety of Subject Complements) in a fairly short period of time (ca.
half a century).


Research question: How to account for this sudden development?


Introduction

Multiple sources and thresholds


"Sudden" turnovers like the copularization of
becuman
have been taken as
evidence by generative linguistics that language change is 'catastrophical'
reanalysis between generations (Lightfoot 1979, 1999);


This view has been criticized by more data
-
driven linguistic approaches
(e.g. Warner 1983, Traugott 1989);


Hypothesis: there is a different way to account for "sudden" changes:


the copularization of
becuman
is the consequence of the coincidental
convergence of a number of constructions


this convergence causes the verb

to cross a
threshold

of similarity (
formally,
functionally, and in terms of frequency
) to the already existing generally
productive copula
weorðan
‘become’.


Certain constructions involving
becuman
are recategorized as Copular
Constructions.


From that point on,
becuman

could be used productively as a copula.

Introduction

English Copular Construction


Construction Grammar (Goldberg 2006, Croft 2001) allows for a unified
account of copulas, semi
-
copulas etc.


Become

in, e.g.,
he became a teacher
is considered a Copula on a par with
be

in
he is a teacher
.


The reason for this is that they are used in the same type of (language
-
specific) construction,

much like the verbs
give, tell, show, offer
each
instantiate the polysemous Ditransitive Construction (see Croft 2003).


Importantly (especially from a diachronic point of view), the basic unit of
analysis is the construction, and the label ‘Copula’ only applies in a
derived way. Verbs used in a copular construction are still the same verbs
if used in a different construction, such as the existential one (e.g.,
There
are ghosts
), but then they are no longer Copulas.





Introduction

English Copular Construction (2)


The (English) Copular Construction is a combination of form and meaning.









Instead of designating an action, the Copular Construction describes a
state or a change of state.


The verb used as Copula generally has
only one profiled participant
in its
semantic frame (also if used in non
-
copular constructions),




Introduction

Sbj<-agent;-volition>
Cop<+aspect>
SbjComp<+focus>
Act of predication

NP
NOM
IntrV
XP
NOM
Types of Copular Constructions

(A)

Adjectival Copular Construction [[NP IntrV AdjP] [Sbj Cop SbjComp]]


Your baby
is

adorable; His daughter Mary
became

insane
.

(B)

Nominal Copular Construction [[NP IntrV NP] [Sbj Cop SbjComp]]


He
is

a teacher; She
became

a writer
.


Both of these can occur with copulas that either denote a change of state
(
become, turn
) or not (
be, remain
).

(C)
The Prepositional Copular Construction: the Subject Complement is
introduced by a preposition


The frog
turned

into a handsome prince; A mustard seed
grew

into a bushy
tree
.


This construction is (in English) only found with copulas denoting a
change of state.





Introduction

Locational Construction


Intransitive verb and a PP (or adverb) indicating a location


They
stood

on a bridge
;
They
arrived

at the airport
.


Not copular


it has two participants (the Subject and a Locational Complement)


Human Subjects appearing in this construction are in control of the situation
or action predicated of them.


Functional and formal similarities to the Prepositional Copular
Construction:


Location Complement is similar to a Subject Complement in that both are in
focus.


(i)

They didn’t stand on the bridge



generally implies that they stood somewhere else.


Second, the two constructions are formally similar, in that both show the
presence of NP, IntrV, and a PP (which specifies the Subject’s circumstances).






Introduction

Productivity


A central concept is that of syntactic productivity (Barðdal 2009).


Two dimensions:


high type frequency


semantic coherence


Hence General and Analogical Productivity.


Both types share:


extensibility of the syntactic construction in question


syntactic (formal) regularity of the extensions


Differences:


GENERAL

PRODUCTIVITY
: productive through high type frequency


ANALOGICAL

PRODUCTIVITY
: productive through analogical extension from one
concept to a semantically related one (semantic coherence)


Analogical Productivity may shift into General Productivity.


Introduction

Corpus


LEON
-
alfa, ca. 2 million words (Petr
é

2009, 2010);


Used for calculating normalized frequencies pmw;


LEON
-
alfa
tries to enhance comparability between OE and ME by reducing
West
-
Saxon predominance (e.g. of Ælfric) and by introducing more Anglian
material in the OE part, and by introducing southern material in the ME
part (e.g. the Winteney version of Benedictine Rule).


Sources for additional data:
YCOE, PPCME2, DOEC, MEC, HC, Arngart
(1968), MED and ICAMET 2004, LAEME 2.1


Introduction

Introduction


Before 1150 highly frequent in the sense 'arrive'


General productivity in its copular functions starts ca. 1150


Multiple source constructions:


Attainment Construction (
Heo
becom

to soþum wisdome

‘She
attained

to true
wisdom’)


Result Construction (e.g.,
andetnysse
becumeð

to hæle
‘confession
results

in
salvation) > Prepositional Copular Construction.


Depictive Construction (e.g.,
he arrived breathless
)


Analogical
weorðan

constructions

‘become’


Old
-
French
devenir



Copularization of becuman

Productivity overview of
becuman

Copularization of becuman

Table 2 & Figure 1: Copular
becuman
, pmw & productivity

750
-
1050

1051
-
1150

1151
-
1250

1251
-
1350

1351
-
1420

1421
-
1500

[
B
ECUMEÞ

AdjP|NP]

0

7

165

173

220

70

750
-
1150

1151
-
1250

1251
-
1350

1351
-
1420

1421
-
1500

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
Types per 100
tokens x
Productivity rate
(Baayen & Lieber
1991)
Locational Construction


Original sense: 'arrive'


84% with Locational Complement (Locational Construction)


76% with animate Subject ([+Control], [+Volition]), as in (4)


Inanimate Subjects linked to animate source already readily occur (3)


(3)

Cleopung

min

to

ðe

becyme
.


call

mine

to

you

come:SBJV.3SG


‘[
May
] my call
come

to you
.’ (
c
825.
PsGlA

[
Kuhn
]:

101.1)

(4)

Wit

becoman

to

ðam

walle
.


we.two

arrived

at

the

wall


‘We two
arrived
at the wall
.’ (
c
925.
Bede 5
: 13.428.32)


Multiple sources: Result Construction

Attainment construction (1)


Subject attains to or reaches a certain state:


[[NP
becuman

to
NP] [Sbj attain to <state>]]


Based on
R
EACHING

A

STATE

IS

ARRIVING

AT

A

LOCATION

metaphor (Radden 1996:
435).


(5)

Se

ðonne

to

halgum

hade

becymð
.



he

then

to

holy

hood

comes


‘He then
will

come/reach
to holiness
.’ (
c
894.
CP
: 2.31.22)

(6)

Heo

soþlice

becom

to

soþum

wisdome
.


she

truly

came

to

true

wisdom


‘She truly
attained

to true wisdom
.’ (
c
1025.
ÆLS

[Thomas]: 351)



Multiple sources: Result Construction

Attainment construction (2)


The Attainment Construction is linked to the Adjectival Copular
Construction via conceptual metonymy: those who attain to holiness
become holy.


Still clearly distinct: "changes of state based on this schema are
understood as taking a regular course which gradually leads to an almost
predictable outcome. Ideally, these changes of state are conceptualized as
entities moving to the end of their paths." (Radden 1996: 435)


-
> the state reached is not a predicated property of the Subject, but is
construed as a second participant, a destination that is reached.


At best, conceptual proximity between Attainment Cxn and Adjectival
Copular Cxn may have made the leap to Copular Constructions cognitively
more accesible.

Multiple sources: Result Construction

Happen to Experiencer Construction


Itself based on Locational Construction via metaphor:
U
NCONTROLLED

EVENTS

ARE

EVENTS

THAT

FALL

ON

ONE

(see Lakoff 1987; Radden 1991: 18).


Has inanimate Subject and animate Experiencer

(12)

Seo

þearlwisnis

þæs

heardan

lifes

him

ærest

of

nede

becwom


the

austerity

the:
GEN

hard:
GEN

life:
GEN

him

first

of

need

came


for

bote

his

synna.


for

amendment

his:
GEN
.
SG

sin:
GEN
.
PL


‘The austerity of hard life
came upon

him first out of necessity for the

amendment of his sins.’ (
c
925.
Bede 4
: 26.350.1)

Multiple sources: Result Construction

Result Construction (1)


Pivotal construction in copularization process.


Obligatory: an inanimate Subject,
becuman
, an experiencer in the Dative
(underlined in the examples), and a PP (introduced by
to
) expressing a
certain state (in regular typeface).

(8)

Seo

lease

wyriung

becymð

þam

rihtwisum
.

to

eadigre

bletsunge
.


the

empty

curse

comes

the:DAT

righteous:DAT

to

happy

blessing


‘The empty curse
turns

to the righteous

into a happy blessing
.’ (
c
1020(
c
995).

ÆCHom I
, 36: 495.258)

(9)

Swa

þeah

ne

bescyt

se

deofol

næfre

swa

yfel

geþoht

into

þam

men


so

though

NEG

shoots

the

devil

never

so

evil

thought

into

that

man


þæt

hit

him

to

forwyrde

becume
,

gif

hit

him ne

licað.


that

it

him

to

destruction

come:SBJV.PRS.3SG

if

it

him NEG

pleases

‘Yet in that way
does the devil never inject an evil thought in that man, that

it
would turn

to
him

(in)to destruction
, if it does not please him.’ (
c
1025.

ÆIntSig
: 41.259)


Multiple sources: Result Construction

Result Construction (2)


Only found in later Old English, from Ælfric’ texts (late tenth century)
onwards


Probably represents a genuine diachronic development within Old English.


May be accounted for as a syntactic blend of:


Attainment Construction: contributes PP expressing state reached;


Happen to Experiencer Construction: contributes inanimate Subjects & Dative
Experiencer

Multiple sources: Result Construction

Result Construction (3)


Result Construction is the first construction to combine an inanimate
Subject (as inherited from the Happen to Experiencer Construction) with a
PP expressing an end state.


This co
-
inanimacy enables their identification, and the shift of the
construction towards one
-
participant predication.


Such an identification indeed seems to have taken place in very late OE:


(13)

Seo

andetnysse

þæs

muðes

becumeð

þære

sawle

to


hæle
.


the

confession

the:
GEN

mouth:
GEN

comes

the:
DAT

soul:
DAT

to


salvation


‘The confession of the mouth
will

result/turn

for the soul

into salvation
.’

(
c
1150.
Alc

[Warn 35]: 322.230)

(14)

Ore

autem

confessio

fit

ad

salutem



mouth:
ABL

but

confession

turns

into

salvation


‘Yet confession through the mouth
turns

into salvation.’ ((799x800). ALCUIN.

Virt.vit. 12: 621C
)

Multiple sources: Result Construction

Result Construction (4)


Final step to Prepositional Copular Construction: loss of Dative
Experiencer

(15)

Þas

tintrego

þe

ðu

on

me

bringan

hehst

to

þinre


those

tortures

which

you

on

me

bring

calls

to

your


ge<s>cyndnesse

&

to

þinre

forwyrde

becumað
.


confusion

and

to

your

destruction

come


‘These tortures which you command to bring over me
will

turn/result

into

your

confusion and into
your

destruction
.’ (
c
1051.
LS 4

(
Christoph
):
26.19)

(16)

Seo

sibb,

þe

on

deofle

is,

heo

becumð

to

ecere

forwyrde
.


the

love

that

in

devil

is

it

comes

to

eternal

destruction


‘The love that is in the devil, it
will

turn/result

into eternal destruction
.’

(
c
1150.
Alc

[Warn 35]: 117.90)



Multiple sources: Result Construction

Result Construction (5)


Result: formal and functional equivalence to Prepositional Copular Cxn

(17)

He

ys

geworden

nu

to

wealdgengan

&

þæra

sceaðena


he

is

turned

now

into

thief

and

the:GEN.PL

criminal:GEN.PL


ealdor
.


leader


‘He has now
turned

into a thief and
a

leader of criminals
.’ (
c
1075.
ÆLet 4


[SigeweardZ]: 1107)


Consequence: recategorization & actualization

(18)

Þii fader
bi
-
com

to one childe.


‘Your father
turned

into a child
.’
(
c
1250.

Seinte marie leuedi

[
Trin
-
C B.14.39
]:


28.14)


Multiple sources: Result Construction

Depictive Construction


Provides a template for Adjectival Copular Construction.

(19)

I parked, ran to the station and
arrived

breathless

to the platform.
(Google)



Old English examples:

(i)

Us milde

bicwom

meahta waldend æt ærestan þurh þæs engles word
.




The wielder of powers for the first time
came
to us
(being) merciful


through the word of the angel.


(
c
970.
Christ

[Exeter]:26.820)

(21)

Eft

ða

se

ylca.

clypode

to

criste.

Gemun

ðu

min

drihten.


again

then

the

same

said

to

Christ

remember

you

my

lord


þonne

ðu

mihtig

becymst
.

to

ðinum

agenum

rice
.

roderes

wealdend
.


when you

mighty

become

to

your

own

kingdom

sky:
GEN

ruler


‘Again the same one said to Christ: Remember (me) you, my Lord, when you

arrive

mighty

at your own kingdom
,
ruler of the sky
.’ (
c
1000.
ÆCHom II
, 14.1:

146.253)

Multiple sources: Depictive Construction

Differences with Copular Cxn


Verb does not have a linking function;


Quality designated by the Depictive Phrase does not result from the
change of location expressed by
becuman
/does not generally depend on
the arrival (see Goldberg & Jackendoff 2004: 536).


Sometimes, however, it does (e.g., (21)):


the relation of arriving and being mighty is one of temporal sequentiality


a causal link between the arrival and the property may be pragmatically
inferred (cf. e.g. the development of
since

from ‘after’ to ‘because’ (Hopper &
Traugott 2003: 82).

Multiple sources: Depictive Construction

Source of Copular Cxn


The earliest instances of the Nominal Copular Construction contain the
collocation
becuman man
, which could mean two things ‘(i) become a
vassal; (ii) become human’.


Both these senses are compatible with a sense of arrival, and
man

might
have been originally a Depictive.


(23)

Ða

Wyliscean

kingas

coman

to

him

&

becoman

his

menn
.


the

Welsh

kings

came

to

him

and

became

his

men


‘The Welsh kings came to him [= king Henry I] and
became

his vassals


(
arrived

(being) his vassals).’ (?
c
1120.
ChronH

[
Plummer
]:

1114.20)

(24)

Soð

god

bicom

for

ure

helpe

soð

mon
.


true

god

became

for

our

help

true

man


‘True God
became
, for our aid,
a real man
.’ (
a
1225(OE
).
Lamb.Hom.VA


[
Lamb 487
]:

127)




Multiple sources: Depictive Construction

Introduction


Result Construction > Prepositional Copular Construction


Depictive Construction > template for Adjectival Copular Construction


Important additional ingredient to reach general productivity:


Analogical model of
weorðan

'become'


Serves as a template, which is copied by
becuman

once
becuman

has reached
a certain degree of similarity with
weorðan
.


Becuman

in this way is recategorized as a Copula (categorical incursion, see De
Smet 2009)


Multiple sources: Analogy with
weorðan

Initial similarity


Already from the start
becuman

and
weorðan
: 'happen'


(26)

Swa

hwæt

swa

he

gecwyð,

hit

becymð

and

gewyrð
.



so

what

so

he

says

hit

comes

and

happens


‘Everything he says, it will
come/happen

and
happen
.’ (
c
1000.
ÆHom 8
: 91)



This similarity is too limited to trigger analogical copying.





Multiple sources: Analogy with
weorðan

Evidence for analogy (1)


In the 12
th

century the Result Construction with
becuman
shifted to a one
-
participant cxn, becoming equivalent to a Prepositional Copular Cxn.


Some extensions, like those with animate Subjects, are still not obvious.


Weorðan

may have provided an analogical model.

(27)

To

nane

þinge

ic

eam

bycuman
,

&

ic

hit

nyste;

swa

swa


to

no

thing

I

am

come

and

I

hit

NEG.knew

so

as


þat

nyten

ic

eom

ȝeworden

toȝeanes

þe.


that

beast

I

am

become

toward

you



To nothing

I am
become
, and I did not know it; in such a way that I have

become a beast towards you.’ (
c
1225.
BenRW
: 7.39.7)

(28)

Hwi

schulde

he

forhohien

to

wurðen

to

þat

þing

þat

is

iwend

upon

him


why

should

he

disdain

to

turn

into

that

thing

that

is

formed

on

him


‘Why should he disdain
to
become/turn

into that thing

which is formed

after him?’ (
c
1225(?
c
1200).
St.Kath.

(1) [Einenkel]: 992)






Multiple sources: Analogy with
weorðan

Evidence for analogy (2)


The Result Construction with
becuman

also increased in frequency.


This may have facilitated the accessibility of an association with the
Prepositional Copular Construction involving
weorðan
.


Once
becuman

was treated on a par with
weorðan
as potential lexemes in
the Prepositional Copular Construction, other Copular Constructions
(already prepared by the Depictive Cxn) become productively available as
well.


Evidence is found in alternations such as:

(34)
Þe

gastelich

lif

bigunnen

i

þe

hali

gast

beoð

bicumene

al


the

spiritual

life

begun

in

the

Holy

Spirit

is

become

all


fleschliche,

al

fleschliche

iwurðen

lahinde,

lihte

ilatet, ...


fleshly

al

fleshly

become

laughing

light

behaved


‘The spiritual life begun in the
Holy Spirit

has
become

completely carnal
,

become

completely carnal
: laughing, loosely behaved, ...’ (
c
1230.
Ancr.

[
Corp
-
C 402
]:

58.2)






Multiple sources: Analogy with
weorðan

Language contact with French


Factor that may have helped Copular
becuman
;


Not a very probable direct cause, given general absence of loan
translations.

(35)

E

Gudlac

mandé

li

aveit [...]

Ke

de

Belin

s’enor


and

Guthlac

handed

himself

had

so
-
that

of

Belin

his’praise


tendreit,

E

sis

huem

liges

devendreit
.



gain:SBJV

and

his

man

liege

become:SBJV


‘And Guthlac had handed himself over [...] so that he would gain the praise

of Belin, and
become

his liegeman
.’
((
c
1155). Wace
Roman de Brut
: 2580
-
4)

(36)

Þeos

swiken

gunnen

ride; [...]

to

Beline

kinge.
[...]

&

his

men

bicome
.


these

traitors

began

ride

to

Belin

king

and

his

men

became


‘These traitors
then rode
; [...] to Belin King, [...] and
became

his vassals
.’

(
a
1275(?
c
1200).

Lay.
Brut

[
Clg A.9
]:

2728)







Multiple sources: French

Conclusions


A grammatical use of a verb may have multiple source constructions;


General productivity may emerge within a very short time span when a
number of developments and phenomena co
-
occur and make
becuman

cross a threshold;


This type of account also explains the timing of that explosion;


In the case of
becuman
, general productivity occurred from the second
half of the 12
th

century onwards. At this time:


Depictives were around (as they had been for a while);


Weorðan

was around;


The Result Construction had
only just

finished shifting into a Prepositional
Copular Construction;


French influence had
only just

started to be omnipresent.


A single lineage account has arguably greater difficulty in accounting for
the timing of a development;


This leads to the question: how general is the multiple sources account?







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The Middle English Genesis and Exodus
(Lund Studies in English 36). Lund: Gleerup.

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-
based study.
Linguistics

29. 801

843.

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óhanna. 2009.
Productivity: Evidence from case and argument structure in Icelandic
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John Benjamins.

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ünter Radden
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Dictionary of Old English Corpus
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532
-
568.

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Helsinki Corpus of English Texts: Diachronic Part,
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(
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Contact information

Peter Petré

Department of Linguistics

University of Leuven

Blijde
-
Inkomststraat 21

B
-
3000 Leuven, Belgium

Email:
peter.petre@arts.kuleuven.be


http://wwwling.arts.kuleuven.be/fll


Link to presentation:

http://perswww.kuleuven.be/~u0050685/
2010_Petre_SLE43.ppt