Article published in:Grammaticalization – Theory and Data
Edited by Sylvie Hancil and Ekkehard König
[Studies in Language Companion Series 162] 2014
► pp. 181–202
The different developments of progressive aspect markers be in the middle/midst of and be in the process of V-ing
mechanisms of change
In this case study, we reconstruct the grammaticalization paths of middle, midst and process, which led to a set of progressive aspect markers (PAMs) in Present-day English. The three PAMs developed from two different source structures, viz. complex prepositions in the middle/midst of + NP and complex appositive noun phrase the process of + NP. The main theoretical aim of the diachronic reconstruction is to identify and characterize the main mechanisms of change that affected the different structures with these nouns on their grammaticalization trajectories: (i) reanalysis in the sense of functional reparsing of an existing structure; (ii) analogization: the attraction of new functional properties to an existing structure; (iii) neo-analysis by analogy: the creation of a functional structure that is new in the item’s trajectory of change. We also discuss how these mechanisms of change interact with enabling factors such as metaphor and metonymy, collocational fixation, expansion and reclustering, and discursive functions.
Published online: 24 September 2014
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