LINGUIST List 10.1362

Thu Sep 16 1999

Sum: Cognate object constructions

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>


  1. Claudia Bubel, Cognate object constructions

Message 1: Cognate object constructions

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 16:10:25 +0200
From: Claudia Bubel <>
Subject: Cognate object constructions

Dear colleagues,

Thank you very much for all your replies to my query on cognate object
constructions. I missed the discussion on the topic last December and
there had even been a discussion on it in 1994 (LL 5.797). Therefore
I'm afraid I cannot supply you with exciting news on the topic.

Apart from cognate object constructions the phenomenon is also referred to as
- cognate accusative
- figura etymologica
- internal (direct) object
- in koine Greek translations of Hebrew as the "Hebraistic Intensifying
- excorporation

In Quirk et al. 1985. 10.29 there is also a note on cognate subjects
(e.g. The frost froze hard).

It seems that most research is being done on cognate object constructions
as a syntactic phenomenon. 
We are mainly interested in cognate objects from a discourse analytic
point of view as a phenomenon of repetition and a means of creating
cohesion (in English and German mainly -- although cognate objects can be
found in a wide variety of other languages, of course). If anyone has any
ideas on that, these would be very welcome. Asya Pereltsvaig has already
pointed us to the paper by A. Mittwoch (who discusses the availability of
cognate objects cross-linguistically in terms of the toleranceto
repetition) -- special thanks to Asya also for sending me her three papers
(Cognate objects in Russian and predication of events; Cognate objects in
modern and biblical Hebrew; Two classes of cognate objects).

What follows is the bibliography on cognate objects that I put together
from the list of references in the LINGUIST LIST summaries from 1994/1998
and the references you sent in reply to my query. 

Alsina, A., J. Bresnan & P. Sells (eds.)1997. Complex predicates. Stanford,
CA: CSLI Publications. (Several articles, among others Hale & Keyser,
Kiparsky, and Williams)

Baron. 1971. On defining cognate object. Glossa, 71-98

Buber, Martin; and Franz Rosenzweig. 1936. Die Schrift und ihre
Verdeutschung (1994. Scripture and translation, translated by Lawrence
Rosenwald and Everett Fox. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.)

Gougenheim, G. 1964. L'objet interne et les cat�gories s�mantiques des
verbes intransitifs. M�langes de linguistique romane et de philologie
m�di�vale offerts � M. Maurice Delbouille, J. Duculot, Gembloux, ed. by J.
Renson. 271- 285. 

Grimshaw, Jane. 1990. Argument Structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hale, Kenneth; and Samuel Jay Keyser. 1993. On argument structure and the
lexical expression of syntactic relations. The View from Building 20:
Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger, ed. by Kenneth and
Samuel Jay Keyser. 53-109. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press.

- --. 1998. The basic elements of argument structure. Papers from the
MIT/UPenn Roundtable on Argument Structure and Aspect, MITWPL 32:73-118.

Halliday, M.A.K. 1967. Notes on transitivity and theme in English (Pt. 1).
Journal of Linguistics 3:1, 37-81.

Horita, Yuko. 1996. English cognate object constructions and their
transitivity. English Linguistics. 13, 221-47.

Otto Jespersen. 1924. The philosophy of grammar. London: Allen & Untwin. 

Jones, Micheal A. 1988. Cognate objects and the case filter. Journal of
Linguistics 24, 89-111.

Khalaily, Samir. 1997. One syntax for all categories: Merging nominal atoms
in multiple adjunction structures. Doctoral thesis, Leiden University.
(avaliable from Holland Academic Graphics [ ])

Landgraf, G. 1878. De figura etymologica, Acta seminarii Erlangensis I / II.

Larjavaara, Meri. 1997. Quoi sert l'objet interne? Travaux de linguistique
35, 79-88.

Levin, Beth. 1993. English verb classes and alternations. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.

Macfarland,Talke. 1995. Cognate objects and the argument/adjunct
distinction in English. Dissertation Abstracts international, Ann Arbor, MI
(DAI). 1996 July, 57:1, 194A DAI No.: DA9614788. Degree granting
institution: Northwestern U, 1995

Macfarland, Talke. 1994. Event structure and argument structure of cognate
objects. ConSoleI Proceedings, 165-182.

Macfarland, Talke. 1994. Cognate objects in English: Events or results,
paper presented at the 68th LSA Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

Massam, Diane. 1990. Cognate Objects as Thematic Objects. Canadian Journal
of Linguistics 35:2, 161-190.
Matsumoto, Masumi. 1996. The syntax and semantics of the cognate object
construction. English Linguistics 13, 199-220.

Mittwoch, Anita. 1998. Cognate objects as reflections of Davidsonian
arguments. Events and Grammar, ed. by Susan Rothstein. 309-332. Dordrecht:

Moltmann, Fredericke. 1989. Nominal and clausal event predicates. Papers
from the 25th Annual Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society,

Olsen, Mari B.; and Talke Macfarland. 1996. Where is transitivity? Paper
presented at the Seventh Annual Formal Linguistics Society of Mid-America
conference, May 17-19, 1996, The Ohio State University. Paper dowloadable
from Mari B. Olsen's webpage [ ].

Pereltsvaig, Asya. 1998. A Cross-Linguistic Study of Cognate Objects and
Predication of Events, ms.

- --. 1998. Two Classes of Cognate Objects, The Proceedings of
the WCCFL XVII, ed. by Kimary Shahin et al. 537-551. Standford: SCLI.

- --. To appear. Cognate Objects in Modern and Biblical Hebrew. Volume of
Papers on Semitic Syntax, ed. Jamal Ouhalla and Ur Shlonsky.

Quirk, Randolph et al. 1985. A comprehensive grammar of the English
language. London: Longman. (10.29)

Reiner, Erwin. 1985. Zur 'Figura Etymologica' im Deutschen, Englischen und
Franzosischen: Didaktik der Ortung etymologisch motivierter Wortspiele und
ihrer Nutzung fur sprachbaumassige Einsichten; II: 3. Dublettenhafte
Figurae Etymologicae. Moderne Sprachen 29/30:3-4; 1-2, 19-32; 1-15

Rosen, H. 1997. Figura etymologica. Festschrift for Harm Pinkster, ed. by
A.M. Bolkestein et al. ... Amsterdam: ....

Schork, R. J. 1993. Sheep, Goats, and the Figura Etymologica in Finnegans
Wake. Journal of English and Germanic Philology 92:2, 200-11.

Stewart, O. T.. 1998. The Serial Verb Construction Parameter, Ph.D.
dissertation, McGill University.

Tomlin, R.S. 1986. Basic Word Order: Functional Principles. London: Croom

Tyler, Jo. 1999. The syntax and semantics of zero verbs: A minimalist
approach (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville).

Wanner, Anja. 1999. Verbklassifizierung und aspektuelle Alternationen im
Englischen. T�bingen: Niemeyer.

- --. To appear 2000. Intransitive Verbs as Case Assigners. Verbal
Structures, ed. by H. Jan�en. T�bingen: Niemeyer.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 1982. Why can you have a drink when you can't have an
eat? Language 58. 753-799.

Zubizarreta, Maria-Louisa. 1987. Levels of Representation in the Lexicon and
the Syntax. Dordrecht: Forris.

Thanks to the following linguists who provided me with information and
references (I hope I haven't forgotten anyone):
Adam Przepiorkowski, Larry Trask, Johannes Heinecke, Jila Ghomeshi, Richard
Badger, John E. Koontz, Michael Israel, John Lawler, Wayles Browne,
Wolf-Christian Wagener, Richard Waltereit, Suzanne E Kemmer, Karl Heinz
Wagner, Tom Ernst, Andrew McIntyre, Jo Tyler, Paco Herpa, Bob Frank,
Charles T. Scott, Miriam Meyerhoff, E. Bashir, Don Reindl, Asya
Pereltsvaig, Randall Rightmire, Jess Tauber, Gregory L Ward, Carolyn
Hartnett, Jaakko Leino, Lukas Pietsch, Eva Breindl, Marcel Erdal, S�ndor
Martsa, Henrik J�rgensen, Tatjana Zybatow, Jose-Luis Mendivil Giro, Anja
Wanner, Mike Maxwell, Talke Macfarland, Ernest McCarus, Steven Schaufele,
Bert Peeters


Claudia Bubel
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. Neal R. Norrick
Fachrichtung 8.3 Anglistik
Universit�t des Saarlandes
Postfach 15 11 50
D-66041 Saarbr�cken

Tel.: 0681 - 302 - 2270
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