“Don’t go getting into trouble again!”
The emergence and diachrony of the English Go VPing construction
Building on Goldberg’s (2006: 52) observation regarding the existence of “a family of related constructions in English” centred around the verb go, this article explores the history of the construction exemplified in the title (“Don’t go getting into trouble again!”) and its relation to other members of the network of go-constructions. The analysis, conducted using three large corpora, shows that the Go VPing construction emerges from two source constructions (one with an –ing participle following the verb go and the other with an infinitive) which exhibit overlap in terms of certain aspects of their form and meaning. From its earliest attestations in the eighteenth century, the Go VPing construction has grown increasingly more interpersonal, and has become conventionalized as a marker of admonitive mood (Bybee et al. 1994: 321) which serves to dissuade or limit the performance of an activity that is apprehended as undesirable and counter-normative.
Keywords: admonitive mood, auxiliation, construction grammar, counter-normativity, expeditionary go , go-constructions, horizontal link, multiple source constructions
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 license.
For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published online: 15 April 2021
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