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Left-peripheral expansion of the English NP1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2011

Department of Linguistics/Faculty of Arts, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)/University of Leuven, Blijde Inkomststraat 21, P.O. Box 3308, 3000 Leuven,


This article is concerned with peripheral modifiers in the English noun phrase. It is argued that this kind of modification is an Early Modern English innovation. Later, in the nineteenth century, the slot underwent a rapid extension on both the type and the token levels, as is shown by historical corpus inquiry. To account for the diachronic processes involved, a constructional, usage-based approach is used, with an onomasiological rather than a semasiological perspective on grammaticalisation.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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