Light verb constructions in Latin American newspapers
Creative variants and coinages
This article examines the occurrence of variant forms of Spanish light verb constructions (LVCs) in a seven-million-word corpus of contemporary newspaper texts from seven Latin American countries. The findings from this corpus are compared with results from a previous study using a corpus of scholarly writing; additional information from a diachronic perspective is provided by data from the Corpus del Español. The structures selected for discussion are complex LVCs (e.g., tener un vínculo o relación), and tokens containing calques (e.g., dar un clic), loan words (e.g., tener un look) and affixes (e.g., dar goplecitos). This study provides evidence of the creative and expressive potential of less frequent types of these formulaic structures. While tokens containing calques and loan words appear almost exclusively in the newspaper corpus, complex LVCs appear with comparable frequency in both corpora. The discussion of the morphosyntactic features of these variant LVC types is accompanied by examples extracted from the corpus.
Keywords: newspaper language, light verb constructions, formulaic language
Published online: 05 April 2013