In the present study, I look at a regularity first observed in Talmy (2000: 483), who showed that in sentences describing sequences of events of the cause-and-effect type, effect events take precedence over causes. They tend to be mentioned first in a sentence, and grammatical patterns exist where cause events cannot be expressed before effects. I use Talmy’s observation to argue against an excessive emphasis on idiosyncrasy of grammatical constructions. Specifically, I will show that the effect-over-cause precedence visible at sentence level, applies especially well, on a smaller scale, to clauses, constraining the range of forms that constructions can take. Thus, the form of constructions is determined by factors like viable arrangements of events within a clause and the metaphoric grounding of meanings that a given construction conveys. Such constraints result in striking convergences between constructions in different languages.
Aspectual properties of the verbal prefix a- in Old English with reference to Gothic. In DiewaldG.Kahlas-TarkkaL. & Wischer I.(eds.) Comparative Studies in Early Germanic Languages: With a focus on verbal categories. Volume 138 of Studies in Language Companion Series. 235–262. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.
KolbeC. W.1818. Über den Wortreichtum der deutschen und französischen. Sprache und beider Anlage zur Poësie nebst anderen Bemerkungen Sprache und Litteratur betreffend. Zweite ganz umgearbeitete Ausgabe. Berlin: In der Realschulbuchhandlung.