Chapter published in:Space in Diachrony
Edited by Silvia Luraghi, Tatiana Nikitina and Chiara Zanchi
[Studies in Language Companion Series 188] 2017
► pp. 329–346
Source-Location ambiguity and incipient decline in the recent evolution of the English directional particle away
This chapter reports on a corpus-based investigation of the evolution of spatial away over the Modern English period in the light of recent work on the expression of motion events. Three observations are made: firstly, a directional-locative polysemy develops, secondly productivity seems to stagnate, and thirdly, for a range of verbs, directional V-away seems to be being gradually replaced by V-off. The likely mechanisms behind these changes are discussed, and it is suggested that away may be an atypical directional particle in decline, possibly in the context of a reorganization or regularization of English directional particles.
Keywords: English, directional particle, motion event
Published online: 14 August 2017
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