This PhD project revolves around the phenomenon of Dutch and French change-of-state semi-copulas (i.e. meaning ‘become’), more specifically those that originate from verbs which typically express physical motion (e.g. (ge)raken, komen, tomber, venir, tourner, virer, passer…). Semi-copulas (henceforth SCs) share only part of the properties of semantically empty, full-fledged copular verbs, such as to be.
Essentially, the project has two aims. First, from a synchronic point of view, it aims at comparing the distributional and semantic profile of the SCs and their sub-constructions by means of extensive corpus analysis. The general view on both SC-systems that will emerge from this analysis will then be subjected to a diachronic study of the grammaticalization / copularization process(es) that led to the creation of these SCs, involving a network of constructions which interacted through time.