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On the Origin and Development of an Embedded V-Initial Construction in Frisian

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image of Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik

Frisian features an embedded V-First construction, which is semantically equivalent to an infinitival clause. The construction comes in two varieties. The coordinated variety involves a clause functioning as a second clause of a coordination in the scope of a modal verb. It used to feature an infinitival verb until it started to appear in the 18th century with (unambiguously) imperative verbs. The subordinated variety involves a clause functioning as a verbal argument. It developed out of the coordinated variety in the 18th century. The grammatical properties of both varieties of this construction in present-day Frisian are presented and understood as a result of their origin and subsequent development out of a coordinate construction in Old Frisian. To the extent that the analysis is successful, it provides support for the notion ‘construction’ and for examining the origin and evolution of constructions, as is customary in construction grammar (Goldberg 2006, Givon 2009).

Affiliations: 1: Fryske Akademy, Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen Ljouwert / LeeuwardenNiederlande


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