The Structure of the English NP
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  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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This paper examines the history of the ACC- gerundive, a subtype of verbal gerund differing formally from both bare gerundives () and POSS- gerundives ( Jane’s ) in having an overt subject argument either in the common case, if it is a full noun phrase (Two people ) or in the accusative case, if it is a personal pronoun ( me ). Findings from a corpus-based study show that early instances of ACC- gerundives most often functioned as preverbal sentential subjects and served as arguments to causative predicates such as , and . Based on this evidence, it is argued that ACC- gerundives have emerged as an intersection of a number of pre-existing constructions, most especially a subtype of absolute participle, now obsolete, that encoded causative (factive) semantics and preceded its superordinate clause. The development of the new gerundive subtype from this participial source, which proceeded as a succession of small discrete steps, can be fruitfully accounted for as a case of constructional change, along the lines proposed in Hilpert (2013) and Traugott & Trousdale (2013).


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