Making one’s way in Welsh
Language contact and constructional change
The English way-construction (He elbowed his way through the crowd), one of the clearest examples of an Argument Structure Construction (ASC), is a highly English-specific idiom that is reported not to have exact equivalents in other languages. Yet Welsh has a virtually identical ffordd-construction that must be attributed to language contact. Welsh speakers replicate the way-construction and its properties using native material, making this an instance of PAT. It appears in Welsh by the 17th century and follows a developmental trajectory similar to the English model. The ffordd-construction, then, instantiates the replication of a partially schematic construction in the sense of Construction Grammar (CxG). Discussion shows how models of language contact can incorporate the replication of an ASC.
- 2.The English way-construction
- 3.Cross-linguistic equivalents of the way-construction
- 4.The Welsh ffordd-construction
- 5.Welsh ffordd meets English way
: Language contact and CxG