Middle English Verbs of Emotion and Impersonal by Ayumi Miura

By Ayumi Miura

Impersonal buildings within the background of English shape a confusing type, in that there was uncertainty as to why a few verbs are attested in such buildings whereas others aren't, even if they give the impression of being nearly synonymous. during this ebook, Ayumi Miura tackles this under-discussed query with distinct connection with verbs of emotion in center English. via a cautious learn of the behaviour of impersonal and near-synonymous non-impersonal verbs, she identifies the standards that decided the presence, absence, and unfold of impersonal utilization with the verbs involved. Miura makes use of sleek linguistic techniques, together with theories and methodologies followed within the learn of psych-verbs in glossy languages, which undergo shut relevance to impersonal verbs of emotion yet have often been researched individually. She additionally attracts on categorizations within the Historical word list of the Oxford English Dictionary and harnesses the web Middle English Dictionary in a unique manner, demonstrating that dictionary fabrics are in reality a worthy instrument within the research of early English syntax and semantics.

Miura concludes diversity of things - resembling causation, transitivity, animacy of the objective of emotion, and period of the emotion - encouraged the alternative of impersonal buildings with center English verbs of emotion. we will be able to for this reason make moderate generalizations approximately while impersonal utilization used to be authorized in those verbs. This cautious research of the correlation among center English verbs of emotion and use or non-use in impersonal structures represents a brand new empirical and theoretical contribution to the busy learn region of impersonal structures within the heritage of English.

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Extra resources for Middle English Verbs of Emotion and Impersonal Constructions: Verb Meaning and Syntax in Diachrony

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Möhlig-Falke’s (2012) recent analysis based on cognitive-­f unctional grammar also concludes that the degree of control and intention on the part of the Experiencer is crucial to semantic distinctions between impersonal and personal constructions, especially with regard to verbs of emotion: a personal construction with nominative case for the Emoter [= Experiencer] [. ] seems to be chosen in Old English when the Emoter is involved more intentionally and when the emotional process is conceived of as being more or less controlled by the Emoter and as happening less spontaneously.

Particular attention will be paid to notions related to the event structure of the verbs, which ‘are a promising direction in characterizing verbs’ syntactic behavior’ (Arad 1999: 16; see also Croft 2012). 4. 4 Outline of the Book This introductory chapter has provided a careful examination of research context of impersonal constructions in the history of English, with special reference to the different syntactic-semantic definitions and classifications of ‘impersonals’. This process has brought to light an under-discussed area in one of the most intensively discussed issues in English historical syntax: the interface between the syntax, semantics, and lexis of Old and Middle English impersonal constructions.

This is because Experiencers are animate and prototypically human and thus potentially capable of sentience, intention, and control, and they are also emotionally affected by undergoing an experience. Apart from this brief hypothesis, which appears to suggest that verb meanings did not play an important part in drawing boundaries between impersonal and non-impersonal verbs (see also Malak 2008: 30, 259, 265), no further investigation of the topic is offered in her study. 14 | Middle English Verbs of Emotion It is now clear enough that, regardless of intensive research into impersonal constructions in the history of English, there is more that remains to be done, especially lexical semantics of these constructions, and that any references to this topic in previous studies have not been much more than short and provisional observations, partly due to the assumed difficulty of the question.

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