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Like I said again and again and over and over: On the ADV1 and ADV1 construction with adverbs of direction in English

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This study discusses an adverbial pattern which has so far been largely overlooked, namely ADV1 and ADV1, as in again and again, on and on and over and over. The paper is primarily based on the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) and the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The data show that these patterns follow typical paths of change, such as a movement towards more abstract meanings (metaphorization; over and over increasingly referring to repetition rather than to physical motion), lexicalization (e.g. up and up being used as a noun with idiosyncratic meaning in on the up and up), subjectification (e.g. on and on expressing negative connotations), iconic variation (again and again and again referring to multiple repetitions), simplification (loss of again after over and over), and the development of discourse functions (and on and on meaning “and so on”).

Keywords: lexicalization; metaphorization; phraseology; simplification; subjectification

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-01-01

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