Edited by K. Aaron Smith and Dawn Nordquist
[Studies in Language Companion Series 192] 2018
► pp. 225–245
This chapter investigates the emergence of a new English phrasal-prepositional verb, look up about, which is found predominantly in online discourse and is largely synonymous with “to google”. It is argued that the verb emerged as the result of a reanalysis of a source syntagm that eroded an internal constituency boundary and resulted in a new lexical item. In order to understand how reanalysis took place in the lexicalization of look up about, usage-based processes such as chunking and holistic and heuristic-based processing are examined, and Bybee’s (2002) Linear Fusion Hypothesis is also invoked to explain how this multi-word expression has entered the lexicon of many users.