The present paper discusses the historical development of various patterns of complementation of the verb fear, paying particular attention to that）-clauses, infinitives, and gerunds. It will be shown that there is a notable contrast between fear in negation and the same verb in affirmative sentences. The former experiences major shifts of complementation in history, in the process of which the use of to-infinitives and gerunds rises, while the historical development of the latter is characterized by a different path, i.e. the expansion of the parenthetical use of fear. Consequently, the development of to-infinitives and gerunds is not at all prominent with fear in affirmative sentences. Furthermore, this paper also touches upon clauses introduced by but and lest as minor constructions of fear. Their use declines by the 20th century, when the verb undergoes the consolidating process of various possible complementation patterns available in the history of English.
Abstract: This paper concerns the distribution of forth in the history of English based on a usage-based model of grammar advocated mainly by Langacker（2000） and Bybee（2006）. It has been pointed out that forth（forð in earlier English） developed aspectual functions in Old and Middle English. However, the newly acquired functions were short-lived and they were not fully established after early Modern English. It will be demonstrated that this kind of language change is “retraction” in the sense of Haspelmath（2004）, rather than （de）grammaticalization. Another fact to be explained in this paper is that forth has been replaced by other particles such as out and on in some phrasal verbs, whereas it has persisted in other phrasal verbs. Such a seemingly strange language change will be accounted for in terms of frequency effects, which play a pivotal role in storing and processing linguistic expressions in the brain/mind.
This study examines the collocational pattern of modal verbs with adverbs to identify the rise of epistemic meanings in the history of English, with special emphasis on may well. The expression may well has been considered as the most problematic collocation. However, once comprehensive collocational patterns of modal verbs and adverbs are examined, may well turns out to be the most conventionalized collocation in terms of semantics and frequency. Adverbs play a crucial role in the semanticization of epistemic meanings and serve as a good indicator for determining the degree of epistemicity in modal verbs.
One feature of the verbs appearing in The Prelude by William Wordsworth （1770-1850） is that verbs of perception and cognition are large in number. I have isolated a sentence structure by using a verb of perception, ‘felt : I felt X.This structure is the form employed when Wordsworth perceives all things in the universe. The vertical axis of ‘felt’ is realized by verbs such as ‘see,’ ‘look’ and ‘hear.’ The axis of ‘X’ is realized with anything that stimulates the young poet’s emotions. What things and phenomena is he attracted to?What comes after verbs of perception syntactically?What objects do the verbs take lexically? What adverbial expressions co-occur with the verbs? These questions will be solved by closely observing the verbs of perception and their surroundings.I observe the objects of the visual and auditory verbs; the poet’s emotional state while seeing and hearing; and the modifiers of the two sensory organs, eyes and ears.
Examining the change from “It’s pity/shame . . .” to “It’s a pity/shame . . .”, the present paper estimates the dates of the change: “It’s pity . . .” was superseded by “It’s a pity . . .” around the middle of the 18th century, and “It’s shame . . .” gave way to “It’s a shame . . .” around the third quarter of the 16th century.Secondly, this paper points out that some modern writers intentionally dropped the indefinite article before pity/shame in order to medievalize their works. Lastly, this paper argues that the change was caused by a semantic differentiation since the indefinite article, when placed before pity/shame, signals that the noun phrase conveys specific information, while the zero article signals that the following word conveys an abstract idea.