Semantic and (morpho)syntactic constraints on anticausativization: Evidence from Latin and Old Norse-Icelandic

Michela Cennamo*, Thórhallur Eythórsson, Jóhanna Barðdal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The diachrony of valency patterns is generally an understudied phenomenon. The present article investigates anticausativization from a diachronic perspective, highlighting the parameters determining the morphosyntactic encoding of this type of intransitivization in two early Western Indo-European languages, Latin and Old Norse-Icelandic. It is shown that the structural and lexical aspects of a verb's meaning and their interplay with the inherent and relational characteristics of verbal arguments affect the synchronic distribution and the diachronic development of the anticausativation strategies in the languages investigated. These features interact, in the course of time, with changes in the encoding of voice and grammatical relations, such as the demise of the synthetic mediopassive and the recasting of the case system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-729
Number of pages53
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by De Gruyter Mouton.

Other keywords

  • active intransitive
  • anticausativization
  • aspect
  • case marking
  • control
  • Latin
  • mediopassive
  • middle
  • oblique intransitive
  • Old Norse-Icelandic
  • reflexive


Dive into the research topics of 'Semantic and (morpho)syntactic constraints on anticausativization: Evidence from Latin and Old Norse-Icelandic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this