[Lingtyp] 'Take' as diachronic source for causative? 'Stand' for ingressive?

Daniel Ross djross3 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 23:38:58 UTC 2020

Hi Claudia,

TAKE is extremely common in transitive functions in serial verb
constructions, with a range of meanings including instrumental, comitative
and sometimes just accusative. There's no shortage of literature on the
topic (including several more papers by Lefebvre), but for a preliminary
large-scale survey, see:

However, TAKE is rarer as an intransitive auxiliary with inceptive (or
similar) semantics. One specific regional exception is "TAKE AND V"
pseudocoordination as found in dozens of European languages. The meaning is
similar to "GO AND V", in the sense of surprise, unexpectedness, defiance,
self-initiative, etc. This has been written about by a number of authors,
but I am working on a more comprehensive survey in Eurasia, where I've so
far identified this usage in about 60 languages:
(Slides in Spanish, but should be easy enough to follow with the maps.)

Aside from pseudocoordination (or rare asyndetic variants) within that
geographic area, SVCs (etc.) with "take" are quite rare in that
intransitive sense. Something like that is found in Haitian Creole, and
there's an auxiliary in Arabic that is similar, but in general this
particular semantic configuration seems anomalously common in Europe
(suggesting contact effects, but with unclear and possibly many pathways,
as discussed in the slides). Another related usage is auto-benefactive
"take" (as opposed to "give"), as described by Creissels 2010 for example
(cited in the slides).

The meanings I've described above are not causative exactly, but I think
somewhat semantically related to that might give you more information to
consider. Further grammaticalization into marking a causative seems
plausible from TAKE SVCs, for example. The more common pattern seems to me
to be "Take NP (and) V (it)", so not causative in terms of alignment but
similar in function. I'm not sure about whether or how often that pattern
might shift alignment to "Make NP V".

STAND/GET UP is used similarly to the TAKE (AND) construction above, in
Arabic and some other languages of the Middle East (presumably also due to
contact), sort of blending into the edges of the TAKE AND distribution. For
Arabic, search for research on "qam" (and cognates in different varieties),
often grammaticalized as an ingressive particle in colloquial varieties.

I'd be happy to discuss this topic more, but that addresses at least the
specific questions asked. I'd be interested to hear more about your
research on these topics. I can supply additional references if you'd like.
(Feel free to write off-list if you prefer.)


On Wed, Aug 19, 2020 at 4:03 PM Claudia Wegener <
claudia.wegener at uni-koeln.de> wrote:

> Dear all,
> It was suggested to me that grammaticalization of the verb 'take' to a
> causative marker is typologically unusual, and indeed, apart from the
> mention of Twi and Nupe (in Kuteva et al. 2019 and sources cited therein)
> and Fon (Lefebvre 1991) I have found little to no information on languages
> where this has happened... Would any of you know any other languages and
> could point me towards publications I could cite?
> And related to this, I have been even less successful at finding languages
> where the verb for 'to stand' (as posture verb) has been grammaticalized to
> function as a marker for ingressive - if you know of any, would you be so
> kind to point me to any publications?
> Many thanks in advance,
> Claudia
> References:
> Lefebvre, Claire. 1991. *Take* serial verb constructions in Fon. In
> Claire Lefebvre (ed.), *Serial Verbs: Grammatical, Comparative* *and
> Cognitive Approaches*, 37-78. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: Benjamins.
> Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha
> Rhee (eds.). 2019. *World Lexicon of Grammaticalization*, 2nd edition.
> Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
> --
> Claudia Wegener
> Abteilung Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
> Institut für Linguistik
> Universität zu Köln
> Albertus-Magnus-Platz
> 50923 Köln
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
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