Habban + participle II with motion verbs in Old English.

2017. №5, 75-91

Vladimir A. Bondar
Saint Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation; alstar@inbox.ru


This paper deals with the emergence and usage of motion verbs with the construction habban + participle II in Old English. It is argued that the construction in question retains its statal resultative meaning at this stage of its development, allowing its usage with transitive motion verbs followed by direct objects. Such usage is considered to be a characteristic of the core semantics of the construction. The further spread of habban + participle II to intransitive motion verbs can be viewed as a spread of statal resultative semantics to contexts with adverbs and modifiers of direction used as the main telic component. The presence of such adverbs and modifiers contributes to the use of habban + participle II with no drastic change in its semantics. This semantics of habban + participle II is thus distinguished from that of wesan + participle II, the latter being used to point to a change in location or direction of the agent’s motion without indicating the covering of a certain distance or overcoming a certain barrier. The semantic analysis based on the sample from corpora of Old English texts shows that the difference between the two constructions in question is seen not only in separate texts, but also in comparisons of the same contexts within manuscripts based on one text.