Historical shifts with the into-causative construction in American English

Mark Davies 1  and Jong-Bok Kim 2
  • 1 Department of Linguistics and English Language, Brigham Young University, 84602, Provo, USA
  • 2 Department of English Language and Linguistics, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Korea
Mark Davies and Jong-Bok Kim
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  • Department of English Language and Linguistics, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Korea
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Abstract

The syntactic and semantic properties of the into-causative construction, involving the pattern ‘V NP into V-ing’, has been studied in some detail, but its historical development has received less attention. This paper looks at the historical shifts in the construction with much more representative and robust corpora than have been used for previous studies. Based on nearly 11,440 tokens from more than 950 million words of text, the paper considers several important changes in the lexical, syntactic, and semantic properties of the construction. The study also establishes the value of large, diverse historical corpora and their role in researching syntactic and semantic change.

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