1887
Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919
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Abstract

Abstract

English is often contrasted with German and Dutch when it comes to the semantic roles that the subject can express (Hawkins 1986Los & Dreschler 2012). Specifically, English seems to have more middles () and allows for unusual inanimate subjects (). However, it seems that the semantics of the grammatical subject in Dutch are also changing, as witnessed by recent examples from websites and advertisements, such as and Although these sentences do not have the adverb that is typical of middles in Dutch (Broekhuis, Corver & Vos 2015: 455ff.), they meet several other requirements for middle formation. In this paper, I analyse examples with one such verb, , and identify two different types of intransitive uses for this predominantly transitive verb. I argue that ambiguity, analogy and genre all play an important role in this change in argument structure.

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2019-11-05
2020-08-11
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): analogy , middles , semantic roles , subject and syntactic change
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