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After reading Luchonachos’ previous post, whose Latin text contains an adjectival resultative predicate (claudus effectus est ‘he became lame’), the following question came to my mind:

Why is it the case that in Latin adjectival resultative constructions are (typically/basically) reduced to the ones we can find in Romance languages (e.g., Sp. Se quedó cojó ‘He went lame’; Dejó la silla vacía ‘He left the seat empty’, etc), the ones whose verb crucially lacks a manner component?

E.g., cf. Omnes consulares (…) partem istam subselliorum nudam atque inanem reliquerunt (Cic. Cat. 1, 7).

That is to say, why is it the case that Latin (consistently/systematically?) lacks adjectival resultative constructions like the complex ones typically found in Germanic languages, where the verb has a strong manner component? E.g., cf. He pushed the door open; He hammered the metal flat; He drank the teapot empty; He danced himself tired; The joggers ran the pavement thin; He shot the President dead, etc.

Probably, something similar happens with prepositional resultative phrases of the following kind: e.g., Cicero wrote his hands to the bone.

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    I'm not sure there's an answer to this other than that resultative constructions of the English type are rather unusual cross-linguistically -- there's no particular reason why we should expect Latin to have them. – TKR Jan 2 at 1:27
  • Well, just by looking at the wikipedia entry for "Resultative", one can find examples of resultative constructions of the "wipe-clean" type in languages that are quite typologically different like German, Chinese, and Japanese... So what do you mean by "rather unusual cross-linguistically"? – Mitomino Jan 2 at 1:36
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    Maybe "rather unusual" is a slight overstatement (I'm not sure the Chinese and Japanese examples are of the same type as the English), but I don't think such constructions are common enough that we should expect a given language to have them a priori. It's an interesting question, but like many "Why does language X have feature Y" questions it may not be answerable. – TKR Jan 2 at 1:48
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    That's right. Linguistic variation is addressed differently by functional linguists like Haspelmath and by generative linguists like Chomsky (NB: the authors of the paper I mentioned above are also generativist). But do you know what? The important linguistic difference separating "wipe-clean/float-into" languages (e.g., English) from "clean-wiping/enter-floating" languages (e.g. Spanish) was put forward by a COGNITIVE linguist: Leonard Talmy, who is an anti-Chomskian linguist! – Mitomino Jan 2 at 2:16
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    Is Latin really "satellite-framed"? (I've always found Talmy's terminology unfortunately opaque, BTW; "path-centric" and "manner-centric" seem clearer.) It seems unlikely insofar as none of its descendants are, nor to the best of my knowledge are other early IE languages (at least, I've looked into this a bit in Greek and found very little in the way of satellite framing). But anyway why should we expect satellite framing to correlate with the existence of English-type resultatives? – TKR Jan 2 at 2:37

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