The way-construction in World Englishes
The way-construction (e.g. He sang his way into our hearts) is a highly idiomatic English Argument Structure construction. Apart from a brief discussion in Davies and Fuchs (2015: 13), however, no study has looked at the construction in World Englishes. Drawing on more than 14,000 tokens from the Corpus of Global Web-Based English (GloWbE), we present the first in-depth empirical analysis of the construction across various types of World Englishes. Our results provide support for Hoffmann’s (2014) claim of the correlation of Dynamic Model stage (Schneider 2003, 2007) and constructional productivity: the overall frequency of the construction as well as the productivity of the verbal, nominal, and prepositional slots of the construction correlate positively with a variety’s phase in the Dynamic Model. Moreover, it turns out that the less entrenched a variety is according to the Dynamic Model, the stronger is its tendency to select specific prototypical, or frequent, fillers in the constructional slots. Finally, we find no evidence for the reliteralisation hypothesis, i.e. that less advanced varieties exhibit a preference for concrete verbs or nouns.
Keywords: Construction Grammar, productivity, way-construction, World Englishes
Published online: 24 February 2020
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Cited by 3 other publications
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