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

Daniel Ross djross3 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 20 15:37:07 UTC 2020

Hi Claudia,

Yes, I agree with your impressions that these functions are rare. I imagine
they're connected to a broad network of related grammaticalization
pathways, but those particular developments don't seem very common.

Regarding posture STAND (vs. change-of-position STAND), the much more
typical development is as a marker of continuous activity (if fully
semantically bleached, progressive/imperfective/durative aspect). (Does
Savosavo have distinct verbs for posture vs. change-of-position?) The only
related observation that comes to mind is that perhaps it has something to
do with taking a behavioral position and holding it. That is, "steadfast"
perhaps in a somewhat defiant way. That seems to be the explanation (if I'm
interpreting it correctly) for a number of South Asian languages (at least
Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, I believe) where SIT has become a marker of
defiant or unexpected/undesirable action (in the misleadingly so-called
"compound verb" constructions), and I think that may be more of a
continuous posture verb than change-of-posture verb, but I'm not certain.

Causative SVCs with TAKE are briefly mentioned in Lovestrand (2018:45),
with reference to Yoruba, so that might be helpful.

Since I haven't been looking for the functions you describe specifically,
there are of course likely to be more examples out there, but I think it's
safe to say they're not common or typical for these sorts of developments
for SVCs. Thanks for sharing the interesting data.

By the way, English actually has a sort of causative construction with
TAKE: "I took him to eat" , or sometimes with a passive (either BE or GET)
as in "I took him to get inspected". I imagine this usage develops
naturally out of the transfer sense of TAKE (also common in SVCs), so maybe
that's related to what you're describing. It's not a typical pattern I've
seen described for TAKE SVCs, but I'd be a little cautious interpreting
that because my impression is that a lot of research on SVCs (including but
to a lesser degree even in descriptive grammars) is biased by semantic
expectations (see the previously linked slides). Certain "typical" semantic
types of SVCs are very likely to be reported, while other possible variants
may not be mentioned, so it's hard to know if there is or is not any more
variation among the possible semantic types than what is reported in a
typical paper or grammar.


On Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 5:21 AM Claudia Wegener <
claudia.wegener at uni-koeln.de> wrote:

> Hi Daniel,
> thanks, yes, I am aware of those functions of 'take' SVCs (also discussed
> in Lee (2019), which I'm sure you will know) and Lefebvre's work. 'Take' to
> Inceptive was not so much my interest, but thanks for the interesting
> slides!
> The language I'm working on (Savosavo, Non-Austronesian) does use
> transitive 'take' in SVCs as the general marker for causation. The subject
> of 'take' is the causer, and object of 'take' is subject of the
> (necessarily intransitive) verb that follows. It is never used in any
> intransitive form or in any way altered in morphology or phonetic form. I
> agree that the development has to have followed a path from what you said
> below ("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'."), i.e. in symmetrical, sequential serial verb constructions first,
> and then extended to asymmetrical SVCs, with the shifted alignment pattern.
> I do find it a bit puzzling that it seems to have happened so rarely in
> other languages, even though it seems a perfectly intuitive development to
> me :)
> Also in light of the other answers I received so far, I guess it is quite
> safe to say then that this development is rather rare...
> As for my question about 'stand' -> inchoative/inceptive/ingressive, I did
> mean 'stand' in the sense of 'be standing'; Savosavo does have a separate
> (though related) word for 'stand/get up', which is not used for this
> grammatical function.
> Thanks again, best wishes,
> Claudia
> References
> Lee, Taegyeong. 2019. A cross-linguistic typology of ‘take’ serial verb
> constructions. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico MA thesis.
> https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ling_etds/69.
> On 20-Aug-20 01:38, Daniel Ross wrote:
> 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:
> https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/data/pages/Ross_Lovestrand_SWL8.pdf
> 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:
> http://publish.illinois.edu/djross3/files/2013/11/Ross-tomar-y.pdf
> (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.)
> Daniel
> 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
> --
> Claudia Wegener
> Abteilung Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
> Institut für Linguistik
> Universität zu Köln
> Albertus-Magnus-Platz
> 50923 Köln
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