[Lingtyp] "become"

Denis Creissels Denis.Creissels at univ-lyon2.fr
Fri Jul 3 19:17:26 UTC 2015

Dear David,

There is an obvious semantic relationship between ‘become’ and one of the
possible meanings of ‘make’, since  ‘X makes/transforms Y into Z’ or ‘X
makes Z out of Y = X CAUS [Y becomes Z], which explains why some languages
use a detransitivized  form of ‘make’ with the meaning ‘become’ (for example
French ‘se faire’ lit. ‘make himself’, as in ‘Il s’est fait prêtre’ = ‘He
became -lit. made himself- a priest’), and others have a labile verb
expressing ‘make, transform’ when used transitively, and ‘become’ when used
intransitively (for example, Mandinka ké, or Soninke ñá)

Best wishes,

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Lingtyp [mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] De la part
de David Gil
Envoyé : vendredi 3 juillet 2015 15:59
Objet : [Lingtyp] "become"

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"?



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

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