So Similar, So Different – A Corpus-driven Method of English Periphrastic Causatives
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 7, Issue 6, November 2019, Pages: 263-268
Received: Sep. 8, 2019; Accepted: Oct. 9, 2019; Published: Oct. 23, 2019
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Lin Yu, The Research Institute of Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Henan University, Kaifeng, P. R. China
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With insights of Talmy’s claim of Agonist and Antagonist in his force dynamic theory, this paper explores the English periphrastic causatives “Cause” and “Make” in the FLOB corpus (The Freiburg–LOB Corpus of British English). With purpose to figure out the similarities and differences between “Cause” and “Make” with additional semantic features, we introduce the methods of colligation and semantic prosody in corpus-driven analysis to explore and illustrate the distribution of the English periphrastic causatives “Cause” and “Make”. The research results indicate that: (1) Based on the colligation of the English periphrastic causatives “Cause” and “Make”, Talmy’s claim of the distribution of Agonist and Antagonist can be revised with more details in terms of the active and passive voice. That is, the distribution of Agonist and Antagonist keeps similar with each other in the colligations of English periphrastic causatives of “Cause” and “make”. Even though the colligations of “Make” are used more often than “Cause”, the Antagonist can be foregrounded as the subject and the Agonist is backgrounded as the direct object in the active voice. Meanwhile, the Agonist is foregrounded as the subject and the Antagonist is backgrounded as the direct object or sometimes omitted in the passive voice. (2) Moreover, “Cause” and “Make” bear some differences with regard to their semantic prosody. “Cause” tends to express negative situations, whereas “Make” remains neutral in its descriptions. In a nutshell, this study of English periphrastic causatives “cause & make” falls into the complementary framework of Talmy’s theory about force and causation.
English Periphrastic Causative, Cause/Make, Colligation, Semantic Prosody, Force Dynamic Patterns, Agonist (AGO), Antagonist (ANT)
To cite this article
Lin Yu, So Similar, So Different – A Corpus-driven Method of English Periphrastic Causatives, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7, No. 6, 2019, pp. 263-268. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190706.13
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