Edited By Roberta Facchinetti and Matti Rissanen
Old English and Middle English
JOHAN VAN DER AUWERA / MARTINE TAEYMANS More on the Ancestors of Need1 1. Introduction The present-day English verb need has attracted a lot of attention, especially because need comes in two versions, (i) a full verb with a third person indicative present -s, do for negatives and questions, and a to infinitive, and (ii) an auxiliary, without the -s, without do, without infinitival to, and also without a positive affirmative use. (1a) Does he need to see this? (1b) He does not need to see this. (1c) He needs to see this. (2a) Need he see this? (2b) He need not see this. (2c) *He need see this. Studies hail from the partially overlapping fields of English modals (Duffley 1994) or modals in general (van der Auwera 2001), grammaticalization theory (Taeymans 2004), and negative polarity semantics (van der Wouden 2001). In this chapter we turn to the origin and the early development of this verb. We will see that there are puzzles there too, and that some are relevant for understanding the present-day problems. The old 1 An earlier version of this chapter appeared as van der Auwera, Johan/Taeymans, Martine (2004). Thanks are due to the Research Council of the University of Antwerp for supporting this work with a GOA grant (2003- 2006). Special thanks are also due to Louis Goossens and to Mike Hannay. The glosses use the following abbreviations: ACC ‘accusative’, DAT ‘dative’, DEF ‘definite’, F ‘feminine’, GEN ‘genitive’, IND ‘indicative’, M ‘masculine’, PRS ‘present, ‘PTR’ ‘preterite’,...
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