Word Formation of Derived Causative Verbs in German and in Ukrainian

Elaboration 2016 18 Pages

Speech Science / Linguistics


Word Formation of Derived Causative Verbs in German and Ukrainian Languages

The functional-semantic category of causativity can be expressed on different levels of the language system. However, one of the main lexical means of expressing causativity is considered to be causative verbs, whose definition is contradicting.

There exist different opinions on the lexical-semantic class structure of causative verbs. For instance, some linguists refer to causative verbs those, in which causative action is expressed by infinitive, e.g.: попросити допомогти ‘to ask to help’, where попросити ‘to ask’ – a causative verb, допомогти ‘to help’ – object [Comrie 1976: 296-303].

Other scientists state that the class of causatives include all transitive verbs expressing influence [Bally 1955: 125] and active verbs with an active subject [Kildibekova 1984: 10-12].

A special approach to defining causative verbs is suggested by A. V. Filippov [Filippov 1978: 91], who claims that this class consists of verbs denoting “subjective causativity” (the vector of action expressed by the subject of causation is directed not at somebody or something, but at itself). Hence, causative verbs are such as бачити ‘to see’, слухати ‘to listen’, шукати ‘to search’.

In works of [Gordon 1981; Oziumenko 1994] three criteria of defining causative verbs are suggested:

1) semantics of causativity – motives to action, change of a state or quality;
2) transitivity, which serves as the syntactic expression of causativity semantics;
3) existence of a non-causative correlate.

Generally, linguists single out causative verbs as transitive verbs with the meaning of ‘changing a state’ or ‘causing an action’, which is expressed by a corresponding verbal stem [Stupak 2011: 14]. Taking this definition of causative verbs into account, in the article we refer to this group, verbs which cause a different action or state in, at least, two situations connected by causation relations and reflect cause-and-effect relations on a referential level.

Therefore, in the paper causative verbs embrace verbs which are characterized by the following types of correlation of causative/non-causative meanings:

1) presence of causative meaning and absence of a corresponding non-causative correlate, e.g.: dehnen ‘in die Länge und/оder Breite ziehen’ ‘to stretch in length and width’; гнати ‘змушувати рухатися в певному напрямку’ ‘to force to go in a certain direction’;

2) correlation of causative and non-causative meanings, e.g.: singen ‘to sing’ → einsingen ‘ein Kind in den Schlaf singen’ ‘to sing until a child falls asleep, to lull to sleep’; sterben ‘to die’– t ö ten ‘to kill’; sitzen ‘to sit’ → setzen ‘to seat’; висітивішати ‘надавати ч.-н. висячого положення’ ‘to give something a hanging position’; питипоїти ‘давати кому-небудь пити’ ‘to give somebody to drink’:

(2) … бо сидять дві жінки по два боки паркану – і кожна думає своє … ‘two women are sitting on both sides of the fence – and each one thinks about her live’ (Matios 2007: 44).

(3) По закінченні роботи посадив Іван хлопчаків на лавку під хату , … ‘Having finished his work, seated Ivan the boys on the bench near the house, …’ (Matios 2007: 47).

The causative verb посадити (3) with the meaning ‘to help or make someone sit down’ is opposed to the non-causative correlate сидіти (2) with the meaning ‘to be in the position with the top half of your body upright, leaning on something with buttocks’;

3) contextual-syntactic correlations (syntagmatic way of formation), i. e. the verb contains both causative and non-causative meaning depending on the context, e.g.: kochen ‘to cook something in boiling water’ and ‘to become hot enough to turn into gas’, h ä ngen ‘to put something in a position so that the bottom part is free to move and does not touch the ground’ and ‘to attach something’ :

(4) Das Bild h ä ngt an der Wand (Duden). ‘The picture is hanging on the wall’.

(5) … und ich meinen Mantel an den Kleiderhaken h ä ngte … (Böll 1998: 102). ‘… I hung my coat on the hook …’.

The verb h ä ngen in example (5) functions as causative with the meaning ‘to put something in a position so that the bottom part is free to move and does not touch the ground’. In example (6) h ä ngen realizes a non-causative meaning ‘to attach something’.

The object of this research is DCV (derived causative verbs) – verbs united by the general meaning of causativity, formed (in the paper terms “formed” and “motivated” are used synonymously) from motivated stems of different parts of speech with the aid of word forming means inherent to verb formation, i.e. units creating word forming category of causativity: Gem. veranlassen ‘dazu bringen, etw. zu tun’ ‘to make somebody do something’ (← lassen ‘to make’); christianisieren ‘zum Christen machen, zum Christentum bekehren’ ‘to convert into Christianity, to baptize’ (← der Christ ‘ a Christian ’); Ukr. білити ‘робити білим’ ‘to make white’ (← білий), гнівити ‘викликати почуття гніву’ ‘to cause anger’ (← anger ).

The main empirical material is obtained by means of continuous sampling of DCV from definition dictionaries of the German (Duden “Deutsches Universal Wörterbuch”; Duden “Das große Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache”) and the Ukrainian (Velykyi tlumachnyi slovnyk ukrainskoi movy / V.T. Busel; Novyi tlumachnyi slovnyk ukrainskoi movy / V.V. Yaremenko; Slovnyk ukrainskoi movy) languages. Foreign dictionaries of contemporary German (Das Fremdwörterbuch / Hrsg. von der Dudenredaktion) and Ukrainian (Slovnyk inshomovnykh sliv / S.M. Morozov), along with thesauri of German (Synonymwörterbuch / Hrsg. von der Bertelsmannredaktion) and Ukrainian (Slovnyk synonimiv ukrainskoi movy / A.A. Buriachok) served as assistant means of defining analyzed DCV. Etymological dictionaries of German (Duden “Das Herkunftswörterbuch: Etymologie der deutschen Sprache”; Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache / F. Kluge; Deutsches Etymologisches Wörterbuch / G. Köbler) and Ukrainian (Etymolohichnyi slovnyk ukrainskoi movy / R.V. Boldyrev) were used to determine a motivation direction of DCV.

On the first level the corpus of analyzed DCV from dictionary sampling was established (in German – 5577 DCV, in Ukrainian – 5408 DCV). This corpus of dictionary sampling was used to the full extend for the analysis of structural types of DCV, determination of forming ways, their productivity in the German and Ukrainian languages, the role of categorical meaning of MT (motivated stems) in DCV formation.

On the next level the corpus of sentences which contain DCV was formed. The material of text sampling constitute about 6 thousand units in every language. Samplings from dictionaries and texts were used to establish the productivity correlation of DCV semantic types in paradigmatics and their frequency in syntagmatics. The systematic study of language units presupposes obligatory consideration of paradigmatic and syntagmatic characteristics. Thus, the next step provided for DCV text sampling formation in both languages.

On the next level the text sampling of sentences containing DCV in German and Ukrainian was formed. The text sampling of sentences with DCV is subject to semantic-syntactic analysis which aims at manifesting peculiarities and tendencies in DCV functioning in every language as well as common and different characteristics in DCV functioning in German and Ukrainian.

Obtained results of dictionary and text sampling statistical processing were used for establishing the productivity degree of certain DCV formation means and ways, semantic types in both languages, productivity correlation of DCV semantic types and their frequency.

Ukrainian linguists mark a great amount of derived verbs capable of uniting in aspect pairs [Vykhovanets 2004: 227-229], e.g. фарбувати ‘to paint’ → пофарбувати ‘to have painted’. In the article an ‘aspect pair’ is defined as a pair whose components differ in grammatical category of aspect, but have the same lexical meaning.

This definition enables drawing a boundary between formation of a form and a word, which is essential for making research into DCV word forming semantics. Thus, the opposition of the verbs фарбувати and пофарбувати is based on the aspect. Only фарбувати performs the function of DCV formed from MT фарба ‘paint’, whereas the verb пофарбувати is the correlate of perfective aspect (formed from DCV imperfective aspect фарбувати) and is not included to DCV corpus.

In contrast to form formation, word formation presupposes the simultaneous change of aspect and lexical meaning of DCV, e.g., фарбувати ‘покривати або просочувати щось фарбою’ ‘cover or saturate with paint’ → підфарбувати ‘фарбувати трохи або додатково’ ‘to paint a bit or additionally’ → підфарбовувати ‘фарбувати трохи або додатково’ ‘to paint a bit or additionally’. This example testifies that the prefix під-, with the aid of which DCV підфарбувати is created from DCV фарбувати, not only differentiates the aspect meaning (attaches perfective aspect) but also partially changes its lexical meaning (attaches a supplementary feature ‘additionally’). In such cases DCV of perfective aspect, e.g. DCV підфарбувати, is included to the general corpus DCV, whereas the verb підфарбовувати is an imperfective aspect correlate formed from perfective aspect according to the rules of aspect pairs formation and is analyzed as one derived unit in the article.

In accordance with the conception of Ukrainian definition dictionaries, which presupposes the study of aspect verb pairs in one article (moreover, an initial form is imperfective aspect), in the paper the basis of defining DCV constitutes imperfective aspect, on condition that aspect is the only difference between perfective and imperfective DCV.



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Title: Word Formation of Derived Causative Verbs in German and in Ukrainian