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

Paul J Hopper hopper at cmu.edu
Wed Aug 26 13:54:48 UTC 2020

PS My two papers on serialization with 'take' in English are on academia.edu, not academia.com. Thank-you to those who pointed out the error.
Paul J. Hopper
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Humanities
Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Anne Tamm <TammA at ceu.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2020 1:21:46 PM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] 'Take' as diachronic source for causative? 'Stand' for ingressive?


Very challenging questions. Maybe looking at analytical causatives helps understand the mechanisms behind the grammaticalization of TAKE as a causative morpheme. There is a book on analytical causatives across languages by Leino and von Waldenfels,

In any case, TAKE can be found as a "causativizer" in Estonian analytical causatives, although LET and PUT/SET are more common. GIVE is also used in analytical causatives (in Finnish, the GIVE analytical causatives are more common, see Leino). Among the Uralic languages, Estonian is an outlier, as there are many analytical causatives and no productive morphological causativization. The diachronically motivated morhpeme -ta is still recognized in lexical pairs as in hüppama 'jump', hüpitama 'throw something repeatedly up', istuma 'sit', istutama 'plant'.

Different verbs occur with different causativizers and with different constructions with non-finites. The TAKE type occurs with verbs that denote mental or physical (involuntary) states, processes or activities, such as think, ponder, shiver, shudder, tremble, cry, weep, etc. But the combination is not lexicalized/grammaticalized, rather the types of event relationships go with different causativizers and nonfinite encoding (GIVE or TAKE are both ok with 'think', for instance).

The lexical sense number 5 in the Comprehensive Estonian Dictionary provides some analytical causative examples
5. mingit seisundit v. tegevust esile kutsuma   (= bring about a state or an action)

Here are two typical examples, translated from the dictionary:
Hirm võtt-is             värise-ma
fear   take-3sg.pst  shake-M_INF
'I trembled from fear (Fear made me shiver).'

Jooks     võta-b     hingelda-ma/higista-ma
running. take-3sg  pant/sweat-M_ILL
'[this concrete event of] running is making me pant/sweat.'

Interestingly, the causer of the TAKE causatives is usually an emotional event that causes a durative event, an uncontrollable or in any case involuntary, unintended, unplanned reaction.

pilt        on  kehv-  ju           võtt-is           käe          värise-ma
picture is   bad     probably take-3sg.pst  hand.acc  shake-M_INF
'The photo is vague - probably my hand was shaking (something caused my hand to shake).'

Et    siis    mõne pagaritoote         seest karva leides             võta-b    mõtle-ma?
that  then some  bakery.item.gen PP      hair   find_NONFIN take-3sg think-M_INF
'So you say that it makes you think [all kinds of things], once you find a hair in your bakery item?'

The TAKE verb is usually impersonally used, and the main verb has the illative (to, into) type nonfinite form (supine), as there is a change of state. GIVE and TAKE are in this sense different. GIVE + think and TAKE + think differ in the choice of the nonfinite as well, because of the difference between the causal-temporal relationships of the two events (causing and caused).  GIVE + think causatives represent voluntary caused events, moreover, a matter of considerable mental effort.

I am now just brushing up a manuscript in my drawer, so I am interested in further discussions!
Anne Tamm

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Epps, Patience L <pattieepps at austin.utexas.edu>
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2020 6:15 PM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] 'Take' as diachronic source for causative? 'Stand' for ingressive?

Dear Claudia,

In Hup, a Naduhup language of NW Amazonia, ‘take’ is the source of the primary/default causativizer in SVCs (among a few other causativizing strategies, also from verbs). For example:

denícon  tɨh-an  d’oʔ-ʔɔt-ɔh
Denilson  3sg-OBJ  take-cry-DECL
‘Denilson made him cry!’

This is discussed in Ch. 9 of my Hup grammar (Epps 2008, A Grammar of Hup, de Gruyter Mouton), mostly from p.399 and forward (though there I noted the impression that this was not so unusual typologically - maybe this was incorrect!).

Please let me know if you’d like more info and I’ll be glad to send it, and thanks for raising this interesting topic.

All best,

On Aug 20, 2020, at 5:53 AM, David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de<mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>> wrote:

Dear Claudia,

A complex pattern of polysemy involving, among many other items, 'take' and causative, is described in Gil (2017) for several languages of Northwest New Guinea, Austronesian and Non-Austronesian.  A possible example of partial 'take'/causative coexpression is provided by the isolate language Yawa.  More commonly, though, the 'take'/causative connection is mediated by 'give', with lots of languages exhibiting 'take'/'give' coexpression (e.g. Hatam, Meyah, Irarutu), and many other languages in the same region (e.g. Abun, Waropen, Roon) displaying 'give'/causative coexpression.

Gil, David (2017) "Roon ve, DO/GIVE Coexpression, and Language Contact in Northwest New Guinea", in A. Schapper ed., Contact and Substrate in the Languages of Wallacea Part 1, NUSA 62:41-100. (http://hdl.handle.net/10108/89844)



On 18/08/2020 15:06, Claudia Wegener 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,



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
50923 Köln

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David Gil

Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de<mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>
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