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Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff

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Usage-based perspectives on diachronic morphology: A mixed-methods approach towards English ing-nominals

Lauren Fonteyn / Stefan Hartmann
Published Online: 2016-08-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2016-0057


This paper illustrates how different methodological approaches can be combined to reveal complex patterns of constructional variation and change in the diachronic development of English ing-nominals. More specifically, we argue that approaching the data from a schema-based (rather than morpheme-based) perspective shows that nominal gerunds in English, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, have undergone a semantic drift towards more “nouny” construal variants. This hypothesis is supported not only by raw frequency counts, but also by association measures and by a detailed analysis of hapax legomena.

Keywords: word-formation change; usage-based linguistics; collostructional analysis; historical linguistics; corpus linguistics


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About the article

Received: 2016-05-19

Accepted: 2016-05-30

Published Online: 2016-08-05

Published in Print: 2016-12-01

Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, Volume 2, Issue 1, 20160057, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2016-0057.

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