A cognitive analysis of English cognate objects

  • Shin-ya Iwasaki Osaka University


In this paper, from the perspective of Cognitive Grammar, we consider the question of what kind of verbs can take cognate objects (COs) and what kind of verbs cannot. We investigate the syntactic properties of COs, such as the ability to take modifiers, the passivizability of cognate object constructions (COCs), and the it-pronominalization of COs. It is our contention that a detailed classification of verbs that occur in COCs is required in order to capture the relation between the syntactic properties and the modification of COs. While classifying verbs, we focus on three conceptual factors: the force of energy of the subject, a change of state of the subject, and the objectivity of the cognate noun. The study reveals that these three parameters enable us to capture the difference in the interpretation of COs in relation to modification and syntactic tests.