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Argument-marking and argument-adjunct prepositions within the lexical domain of speech in old English.

This paper analyses the argument-marking and argument-adjunct prepositions within the Old English lexical domain of speech act verbs. Firstly, we will propose a lexical template for the domain of speech act verbs, since lexical templates are conceived as lexical representations which include semantic and syntactic information within the same format, allowing for the capture of syntactic and morphological phenomena within lexical classes. Secondly, following the theoretical frame of Role and Reference Grammar, we will illustrate the difference between argument-marking and argument-adjunct prepositions. And thirdly, we will provide the Lexical Template Modeling Process with the lexical rules that motivate the different argument-marking and argument-adjunct prepositions from the lexical template codified by the lexical domain of speech in Old English.

Key words: argument-marking, argument-adjunct prepositions, Old English, speech act verbs, lexical templates.

1. Introduction

Based on the typology of prepositions established by Jolly (1991) and Van Valin and LaPolla (1997) within the theoretical frame of Role and Reference Grammar (henceforth RRG), that is, argument-marking prepositions, argument-adjunct prepositions and adjunct prepositions, we will analyse the argument-marking and the argument-adjunct prepositions which combine with Old English speech act verbs. (1)

For the writing of this paper, we have taken into consideration speech act verbs with a generic meaning, such as cwe pan, secgan and sprecan, together with more specific speech act verbs belonging to the lexical subdomains to say something suddenly/loudly, to say something in a soft way, and to say something unhappily/in a dissatisfied way. (2) The examples of these predicates have been provided by The Dictionary of Old English Corpus (henceforth DOEC). (3)

Furthermore, applying the concept of lexical template and the Lexical Template Modeling Process, we will analyse the syntax-semantics interface of Old English verbs of speech by establishing the lexical rules which contribute to the linking between the syntactic and semantic representation of these verbs, and therefore to the assignment of argument-marking and argument-adjunct prepositions.

2. The concept of lexical template

The Functional-Lexematic Model (henceforth FLM), developed by Martin Mingorance (1998), has been devised for the purpose of supplying the lexicon with the onomasiological classification of lexemes within lexical classes, as a way of reflecting the organisation of our mental lexicon and demonstrating the close relationship between syntax and semantics (Faber and Mairal Uson 1994, 1997a, 1997b, 1999; Martin Mingorance 1998).

Following the latest contributions within the FLM (Cortes Rodriguez and Mairal Uson 2001, 2002; Mairal Uson and Van Valin 2001; Mairal Uson and Faber 2002; Mairal Uson and Cortes Rodriguez, forthcoming), lexical templates have been designed as lexical representations which include semantic and syntactic information within the same format, reflecting generalisations across lexical classes and reducing the information to be included in the lexical entries.

In order to construct a lexical template, the logical structures developed by Van Valin and LaPolla (1997) within the theoretical frame of RRG will be complemented by a semantic decomposition in terms of ontological constants or internal variables and semantic primitives corresponding to the different lexical domains, since logical structures lack the semantic information characteristic of each of them. The result will be a procedure of lexical representation where meaning description is encapsulated and interacts with the syntactic behaviour of lexical units. Accordingly, Mairal Uson and Faber (2002: 54) describe lexical templates in the following way: "Lexical templates conflate both syntactic information (those aspects of the meaning of a word which are grammatically relevant) and semantic information (those aspects which act as distinctive parameters within a whole lexical class) into one unified representation."

3. Role and Reference Grammar logical structures

Logical structures (henceforth LS) are based on the classification of predicates attending to their Aktionsart, making reference to the inherent properties of the events that the predicates designate. This classification allows for the capture of syntactic and morphological phenomena, such as the combinatory possibilities of predicates and case assignment, characteristic of the different verbal classes. Thus, within RRG four classes of verbal predicates are distinguished: states [+static] [-telic] [-punctual], activities [-static] [-telic] [-punctual], achievements [-static] [+telic] [+punctual], and accomplishments (and active accomplishments) [-static] [+telic] [-punctual], together with their causative counterparts. Table 1 on the following page shows the lexical representations corresponding to the verbal classes mentioned above (Van Valin and LaPolla 1997: 109).

In order to attain the argument structure of a verb, Van Valin and LaPolla (1997: 139) propose two general semantic relations, the Actor and Undergoer macroroles, which are "generalizations across the argument-types found with particular verbs which have significant grammatical consequences." The Actor macrorole comprises those arguments whose nature is closer to that of an Agent and the Undergoer subsumes those arguments closer to a Patient. Macroroles are only assigned to core arguments, that is, arguments with no morphological marking as in Present-day English or marked by a grammatical case as in Old English, (4) in opposition to oblique arguments, which are introduced by argument-marking or argument-adjunct prepositions.

With respect to the criteria that determine the interaction between arguments and macroroles, these authors propose the following default macrorole assignment principles (Van Valin and LaPolla 1997: 152-53):

a. Number: the number of macroroles a verb takes is less than or equal to the number of arguments in its logical structure

1. If a verb has two or more arguments in its LS, it will take two macroroles

2. If a verb has one argument in its LS, it will take one macrorole

b. Nature: for verbs which take one macrorole

1. If the verb has an activity predicate in its LS, the macrorole is actor

2. If the verb has no activity predicate in its LS, the macrorole is undergoer

Moreover, Case Assignment Rules are also related to the assignment of macroroles. Based on Van Valin and LaPolla (1997: 359), we propose the following case assignment rules for the Old English verb class of speech (5):

a. Assign nominative case to the highest-ranking macrorole argument, that is, the Actor

b. Assign accusative case to the other macrorole argument, that is, the Undergoer

c. Assign dative case to non-macrorole arguments (default)

As will be shown, taking into account the interaction existing between macroroles and grammatical relations, the information to be included in the lexical representations will be greatly reduced.

4. Prepositional analysis within Role and Reference Grammar

Jolly (1991) posits three types of prepositions: argument-marking prepositions, argument-adjunct prepositions and adjunct prepositions. Both adjunct prepositions and argument- adjunct prepositions are predicates "in their own right," but the difference between them is that the former "introduce an NP into the clause and head PPs which are peripheral (adjunct) modifiers of the core," whereas the latter "introduce an argument into the clause and share it with the logical structure of the core, rather than taking the logical structure of the core as an argument" (Van Valin and LaPolla 1997: 159). Compare the examples in (1) and (2):

(1) Robin baked a cake for Sandy
[[do' (Robin, [conjunto vacio])] CAUSE [BECOME baked' (cake)]] PURP
[BECOME have' (Sandy, cake)]

(2) Sam baked a cake in the kitchen yesterday
yesterday' (be-in' (kitchen, [[do' (Sam, [conjunto vacio])] CAUSE
[BECOME baked' (cake)]]))

However, argument-marking prepositions, as their name states, signal the core arguments of the verb. Van Valin and LaPolla (1997: 117) point out that with some verbs, such as speech act verbs, the syntactic realisation of their core arguments as oblique core arguments is possible. Thus, the following example presents two prepositional constructions where to PP = [beta] (the hearer) and about PP = [omega] (the topic of the message):

(3) I speak to Sandy about Kim
do' (I, [express.([alfa]).about.([omega]).to.([beta]).in.language.
([gamma])' (I, Sandy)]), where Sandy = [beta], [about'
(Kim)] = [omega]

Therefore, in this paper we are going to deal with the argument-marking prepositions and the argument-adjunct prepositions characteristic of the speech domain and the way they are provided by the lexical rules derived from the Lexical Template Modeling Process that we present below.

5. Linking the syntactic and semantic representation of verbal predicates within the Old English domain of speech

Following Van Valin and LaPolla (1997), we propose the following template for the Old English domain of speech:
[do' (x, [use' (x, voice).produce' (x, words)] CAUSE [do' (x,
(x, y)])])] CAUSE [BECOME aware.of' (y, z)],
where z = [alfa], y = [beta], [in' (v)] = [gamma], [about'(w)] =

This template contains the logical structure of a causative accomplishment, where a speaker (x) performs the activity of using his/her voice to produce some words, so that this activity causes the speaker (x) to express a content ([alfa]) about a topic ([omega]) to a hearer ([beta]) in a language ((), and then the hearer becomes aware of it. It shows four internal variables [alfa], [omega], [beta], [gamma], marked by Greek letters and making reference to the content of the expression ([alfa]), to the topic ([omega]), to the addressee ([beta]) and to the language used ([gamma]), respectively, and five external variables x, z, w, y, v, where x makes reference to the speaker, z to [alfa] or the content of the expression, w to [omega] or the topic of the content, y to [beta] or the hearer, and finally v to [gamma] or the language used. The linking between these internal and external variables is expressed in the chart below:
z [flecha diestra] [alfa] (content)
w [flecha diestra] [omega] (topic)
y [flecha diestra] [beta] (hearer)
v [flecha diestra] [gamma] (language used)

As the template above shows, the first subevent, [do' (x, [use' (x, voice). produce' (x, words)])], allows for the instrument alternation which "requires that the potential instrument be part of a causal chain and the argument of an implement predicate like use'" (Mairal Uson and Cortes Rodriguez, forthcoming). Then this subevent causes (CAUSE) a second subevent, [do' (x, [express.([alfa]).about. ([omega]).to.([beta]).in.language.([gamma])' (x, y)])], where the internal variables in.language.([gamma]) and about.([omega]) raise the prepositional constructions [in'(v)] and [about'(w)], respectively. Finally, these two subevents will cause the event [BECOME aware.of' (y, z)]. Thus, the syntactic behaviour of a lexeme will be determined by linking the internal variables and external argument positions of a template. Mairal Uson and Faber (2002: 87) describe the process that governs the mapping between a lexical template and the different syntactic structures within a lexical class, namely, the Lexical Template Modeling Process: "Lexical templates can be modeled by suppressing external variables, instantiating internal variables, eliminating operators (e.g. cause), or else, by introducing elements resulting from the fusion with other templates if there is a compatibility between the features in the lexical template and the syntactic construction under scrutiny."

Therefore, within the Old English domain of speech act verbs, the variable x (speaker) takes the macrorole Actor and Nominative case; the variable z (content) takes the macrorole Undergoer and Accusative case, although it can also be syntactically realised by a subordinate clause, or a clausal subordination in terms of RRG, functioning as a core argument; (6) the variable y (hearer), as a non-macrorole core argument, is assigned Dative case or is introduced by an argument-marking preposition; and the other two external variables w (topic) and v (language used) usually take part of an argument- adjunct prepositional construction.

Firstly, we will begin by analysing the argument-marking prepositions within this domain. The variable y, when it does not appear in Dative case, is introduced by the preposition to. As the rule for assigning the preposition to in Present-day English states (Van Valin and LaPolla 1997: 377), this argument-marking preposition is assigned to a non-macrorole core argument, thus becoming an oblique core argument: "Assign to to the non- macrorole y argument in the logical structure segment: ... pred' (x, y)." The following example illustrates this preposition:

(4) swa swa drihten to his leorningcnihtum cwaed (DOEC: AECHom I, 36 B1.1.38) "As soon as God spoke to his disciples."
swa swa' ([do' (drihten, [use' (drihten, voice).produce' (drihten,
words)] CAUSE [do' (drihten, [express.([alfa]). about.([omega]).to.
([beta]).in.language.([gamma])' (drihten, his leorningcniht)])]),
where his leorningcniht = [beta]

x   Nominative    Actor   Drihten

y   to + Dative           to his leorningcnihtum

Secondly, we will present the argument-adjunct prepositions within this verbal class. The prepositions be, embe, for, fram, in, of, ofer, and on allow for the syntactic realisation of the external variable w making reference to the topic of the message, that is, [about.([omega])]. These prepositions are characterised by being themselves predicates introducing an argument which will be shared with the logical structure of the main predicate. This argument is labelled as argument-adjunct since its meaning is not derived from the logical structure of the predicate but instead is given by the preposition which introduces it.

In order to capture this argument-adjunct in Old English, we must apply the following rule: "Assign be, embe, for, fram, in, of, ofer, and on to a non-macrorole argument in the logical structure: ... [about' (w)]."

(5) we wyllad eow secgan be sumon gesaeligon cyninge (DOEC: AEHom 27 B1.4.27)

"We want to talk to you about some prosperous king."
[do' (we, [use' (we, voice).produce' (we, words)] CAUSE [do' (we,
[express.([alfa]).about.([omega]).to.([beta]).in. language.([gamma])'
(we, ge)])], where ge = [beta], sum gesaeliga cyning = [omega]

x   Nominative    Actor   we

w   be + Dative           be sumon gesaeligon cyninge

y   Dative                eow

The prepositions agen, ongean, togeanes, and wid also represent the syntactic realisation of the internal variable [about.([omega])]. However, they must be distinguished from the previous ones because they encode a negative axiological value with the meaning "against." Therefore, we must apply the following rule: "Assign agen, ongean, togeanes and wid to a non-macrorole argument in the logical structure: ... [against' (w)]."

(6) nelle ge sprecan ongean god (DOEC: Ps GIG (Rosier) C7.8) "You will not speak against God."
[do' (ge, [use' (ge, voice).produce' (ge, words)] CAUSE [do' (ge,
(ge, [conjunto vacio])])], where god = [omega]

x   Nominative            Actor   ge

w   ongean + Accusative           ongean god

The preposition on implies the syntactic realisation of the external variable v making reference to the language used to communicate the message, that is, [in.language.(()]. Again, the argument introduced by on is an argument-adjunct since its meaning is given by this preposition. The corresponding lexical rule for this preposition is as follows: "Assign on to a non-macrorole argument in the logical structure: ... [in' (v)]."

(7) Se maessepreost sceal secgan ... paes godspelles angyt on englisc pam folce (DOEC: AELet1 (Wulfsige Xa) B1.8.1)

"The masspriest will say to the people the meaning of the gospel in English."
[do' (se maessepreost, [use' (se maessepreost, voice).produce'
(se maessepreost, words)] CAUSE [do' (se maessepreost, [express.
([alfa]).about.([omega]).to.([beta]).in.language.([gamma])' (se
maessepreost, paet folc)])] & [BECOME aware.of' (paet folc,
paes godspelles angyt)], where paet folc = [beta], paes godspelles
angyt = [alfa], englisc = [gamma]

x   Nominative        Actor       Se maessepreost

z   Accusative        Undergoer   paes godspelles angyt

y   Dative                        pam folce

v   on + Accusative               on englisc

The last preposition to be dealt with is mid. Speech act verbs in Old English are characterised by combining with an intermediary instrument (voice or words) introduced by the preposition mid and shared with the logical structure of the main predicate. According to Levin (1993: 80), intermediary instruments must be distinguished from enabling/facilitating instruments, since, as the examples below show, only the former can "turn up as subjects," in Levin's words, or have the function of Actor from the RRG point of view:
(8) a. David broke the window with a hammer
    b. The hammer broke the window            intermediary instrument
    a. Doug ate the ice cream with a spoon.
    b. *The spoon ate the ice cream           enabling/facilitating
    a. The crane loaded the truck             intermediary instrument
    b. * The pitchfork loaded the truck       facilitating instrument

In order to capture this argument-adjunct, we must apply the rule for assigning mid in Old English, being based on Van Valin and LaPolla's lexical rule for the preposition with in Present-day English (1997: 381): "Given two arguments, x and y, in a logical structure, with x lower than or equal to y on the Actor-Undergoer Hierarchy, and a specific grammatical status (macrorole, head of NP), assign mid to the y argument if it is not selected for that status."

Thus, taking into account the first subevent in the lexical template for the domain of speech, [do' (x, [use' (x, voice).produce' (x, words)])], if x is chosen as Actor, the Old English preposition mid is usually assigned to the arguments voice--or any of the organs which produce the voice--or words, which includes any expression semantically linked to this ontological constant, such as speech, message, etc. (7) See the following table:

(9) pa ongan he mid mycelre stefne hlydan (DOEC: GD1 (C) B9.5.2)

"Then he began to cry out with a great voice."
pa' ([do' (he, [use' (he, mycel stefn).produce' (he, words)] CAUSE [do'
(he, [conjunto vacio])])])

x       Nominative     Actor   he

voice   mid + Dative           mid mycelre stefne

(10) Da se eadiga laurentius mid pysum wordum & ma oprum bemaende paet he ne moste mid his lareowe prowian (DOEC: AECHom I, 29 B1.1.31)

"Then the blessed Laurentius complained with these and other words that he could not die with his master"
[do' (se eadig laurentius, [use' (se eadig laurentius, voice).produce'
(se eadig laurentius, pys word)] CAUSE [do' (se eadig laurentius,
[express. ([alfa]).about.([omega]).to.([beta]). in.language.([gamma]).[delta])' (se eadig laurentius,
[conjunto vacio])])] & [INGR aware.of' ([conjunto vacio], paet he
ne moste mid his lareowe prowian)], where [conjunto vacio] = [beta],
paet he ne moste mid his lareowe prowian = [alfa]

x       Nominative      Actor       se eadiga laurentius

z       Clausal         Undergoer   paet he ne moste mid his
        subordination               lareowe prowian

words   mid + Dative/               mid pysum wordum & ma
        Instrumental                oprum

However, the preposition mid can also signal a core argument of the predicate, such as the hearer (y), and then its meaning is derived from the logical structure of the speech act predicate. In this case, this preposition will be labelled as commitative mid. As Van Valin and LaPolla (1997: 379) state, when there exist two potential actors x and [beta] (represented in the template as x 5 $) and only one of them functions as Actor, the other one is introduced by the argument-marking preposition mid. Compare the previous examples with (11):

(11) Donne maeg he cwepan mid pam sealmscope (DOEC: AECHom I, 36 B1.1.38)

"Then he may talk with the psalmist."
donne' ([do' (he, [use' (he, voice).produce' (he, words)] CAUSE [do'
(he, [express.([alfa]). about.([omega]).to.([beta]).in. language.
([gamma])' (he [conjunction] se sealmscop, [conjunto vacio])])])

x        Nominative     Actor   he

[beta]   mid + Dative           mid pam

6. Concluding remarks

The notion of lexical template has been integrated in the Functional Lexematic Model framework for lexical analysis as a way of representing the interaction between syntax and semantics within lexical domains. Thus, lexical templates enrich the logical structures as developed by Van Valin and LaPolla (1997) with a semantic decomposition which allows for the capture of generalisations within verbal classes, reducing the information to be included in the lexical entries.

Therefore, the Old English lexical domain of speech act verbs codifies a lexical template, being able to motivate the syntactic behaviour and alternations of the lexemes that integrate it. Thus, according to the lexical rules derived from the Lexical Template Modeling Process applied to the lexical template of speech act verbs, the speaker (x) is always chosen as Actor, the content (z), when it is syntactically realised, takes the macrorole Undergoer, and the prepositions analysed above, both argument-marking and argument-adjunct, are assigned to non-macrorole arguments in the logical structure, that is, the prepositions be, embe, for, fram, in, of, ofer, on "about" and agen, ongean, togeanes "against" are assigned to the topic of the message (w); on "in" to the language used (v); mid "with" to the instrument (voice or words) or to the commitative use of [beta], and finally to "to" to the hearer (y).
Table 1: Lexical representations for Aktionsart classes

Verb class              Logical structure

State                   predicate' (x) or (x, y)

Activity                do' (x, [predicate' (x) or (x, y)])

Achievement             INGR predicate' (x) or (x, y), or INGR do' (x,
                        [predicate' (x) or (x, y)])

Accomplishment          BECOME predicate' (x) or (x, y), or BECOME
                        do' (x, [predicate' (x) or (x, y)])

Active accomplishment   do' (x, [[predicate1.sub.1]' (x, (y))]) &
                        BECOME [predicate.sub.2]' (z, x) or (y)

Causative               [alfa] CAUSES [beta] where [alfa], [beta]
                        are LS of any type

Table 2: The instrument as non-macrorole argument


voice   voice   pa ongan he mid mycelre stefne hlydan (DOEC: GD
                1 (C) B9.5.2)

        mouth   gif he hit mid mude beceorad (DOEC: BenR
                "If he complains about it with the mouth."

        jaws    clummiad mid ceaflum par hi scoldan clipian
                (DOEC: WHom 16b B2.3.4)
                "They mutter with their jaws where they should
                speak aloud."
words   Da se eadiga laurentius mid pysum wordum & ma oprum
        bemaende paet he ne moste mid his lareowe prowian (DOEC:
        AECHom I, 29 B1.1.31)
        "Then the blessed Laurentius complained with these and other
        words that he could not die with his master."

(1.) This paper is part of the research projects EX2003-0118 and BFF2002- 00659, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, respectively.

(2.) For the structure of the lexical domain of speech, see Faber and Mairal Uson (1999: 288-90).

(3.) The Dictionary of Old English Corpus, directed by Antonette di Paolo Healey at the University of Toronto, is an online database consisting of at least one copy of every Old English text which has been preserved.

(4.) For a detailed discussion of the Old English grammatical case, see McLaughlin (1983), Mitchell (1985), Denison (1993), Allen (1995), and Fischer, van Kemenade, Koopman, and van der Wurff (2000).

(5.) For an exhaustive treatment of Old English syntax from the RRG perspective, with special attention to the relationship between arguments, macroroles and grammatical cases, see Roberts (1995), Martin Arista (2001), and Martin Arista and Caballero Gonzalez (2002).

(6.) Within RRG (see Van Valin and LaPolla 1997: 454-55) clausal subordinations are classified as either arguments (John persuaded Leon that Amy had lost) or modifiers (Bill went to the party after he talked to Mary).

(7.) Otherwise the instruments voice and words will appear in Dative, Instrumental or Genitive case. Firstly, as we have seen in the Default Macrorole Assignment Principles, Dative is the default case for non-macrorole arguments and in Old English Instrumental case usually merged with Dative, except in some forms of the adjective or the definite article. Secondly, as Van Valin and LaPolla (1997: 665) state, Genitive case can replace Dative case since "Dative is the default case for non-macrorole direct core arguments, and as a default case it must be overridden with certain verbs."

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Marta Maria Gonzalez Orta

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Date:Jun 1, 2004
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