Edited by Tiago Timponi Torrent, Ely Edison da Silva Matos and Natália Sathler Sigiliano
[Benjamins Current Topics 122] 2022
► pp. 95–118
This chapter addresses constructional change in a dialogical construction that is illustrated by utterances such as sarcastic much?, which typically serve the purpose of an interactional challenge. Drawing on web-based corpus data, we argue that this construction is currently undergoing a process of change that expands its range of possible uses. Specifically, we observe the emergence of uses with a different intersubjective function, in which the writer does not aim for confrontation but is rather seeking the solidarity and alignment of the addressee. We offer an account of this development in terms of constructional change, and we use this case study to explore how intersubjectification and the dialogic nature of language can be accommodated more thoroughly in a constructional theory of language change.