[Lingtyp] "become"

Guillaume Jacques rgyalrongskad at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 14:31:35 UTC 2015

Dear David,

In Heine and Kuteva 2002, there is no "become" category, but their "change
of state" is the closest to it. They find three origins for "change of
state": come to, get and go

The pathway make/do > become is quite common, I believe.

For instance, in Japhug Gyalrong there are two verbs meaning "become,
change (into)" *apa* and *aβzu* which are both etymologically passive forms
of verbs meaning "to do" *pa* and *βzu *(see Jacques 2012:210)

NB: *βzu*, borrowed from Tibetan *bzo*, means also "make", while *pa *means
mainly "close (door)" though it also means "do" in very restricted


*Heine, Bernd and Kuteva, Tania. 2002. World Lexicon of Grammaticalization.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press*
Jacques, Guillaume 2012 Argument demotion in Japhug Rgyalrong, in Gilles
Authier, Katharina Haude (eds) Ergativity, Valency and Voice. Berlin: De
Gruyter Mouton, pp.199-225. 2012

2015-07-03 15:59 GMT+02:00 David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de>:

> Greetings, typologists, from the New Guinea Bird's Head.
> Does anybody know of any cross-linguistic studies examining the historical
> sources and etymologies of words or affixes that mean "become"?
> Alternatively, is anybody familiar with cases in which a word meaning
> "become" has its origin in a word meaning "make"/"do"?
> Thanks,
> David
> --
> David Gil
> Department of Linguistics
> Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
> Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
> Telephone: 49-341-3550321 Fax: 49-341-3550333
> Email:gil at eva.mpg.de
> Webpage:http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/
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Guillaume Jacques
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