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Folia Linguistica

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On causative dar and its alternatives in the history of Spanish

Marcos García Salido
Published Online: 2017-11-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flih-2017-0004


This paper studies the linguistic change whereby Spanish dar prevailed as the default verb to express causation when taking a state noun as its object, displacing alternatives such as hacer vergüenza ‘to cause embarrassment’ or poner miedo ‘to frighten’. In spite of the seeming regularity of the dar-plus-state-noun pattern, it is argued that this collocational pattern has an idiosyncratic character, since not all combinations of lexical units conveying an equivalent meaning are acceptable in present day Spanish, whilst some alternatives that are currently possible in related languages and were commonly found in previous stages of this language’s history (hacer miedo lit. ‘to make fear’) are no longer available. The study tries to show that the idiosyncratic character of these combinations in present-day Spanish can be explained in diachronic terms and that they are the result of two frequency effects that have been observed in other instances of linguistic change: on the one hand, the prevalence as productive patterns of linguistic structures with a high type frequency and, on the other, the resilience of structures with a high token frequency.

Keywords: causative collocations; Spanish; frequency effects; linguistic change


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-11-10

Published in Print: 2017-11-27

Citation Information: Folia Linguistica, Volume 51, Issue s38, Pages 91–124, ISSN (Online) 1614-7308, ISSN (Print) 0165-4004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flih-2017-0004.

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