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Analogy-driven change: the emergence and development of mirative end up constructions in American English


This article explores the diachronic development of mirative end up in American English, which emerged in the late nineteenth century and which seems to be, at present, in the process of becoming a parenthetical element. The rise of the various mirative end up constructions is argued to be the result of both pragmatic enrichment and paradigmatic analogy, motivated by a series of semantically and formally related expressions, most prominently by mirative turn out. Moreover, the article delves into the process of cooptation to explain the emergence of parenthetical instances in the present-day language. Cooptation is understood as an intrinsically analogical-driven mechanism when it entails the eventual grammaticalization of formulaic parenthetical constructions. Data for the present study were taken from a variety of diachronic and synchronic sources, which include COHA, COCA and NOW, among others.

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I would like to thank Teresa Fanego, Belén Méndez-Naya, Caroline Gentens and Julia T. Williams Camus for their valuable feedback on earlier versions of this article. I am also very grateful to the editor, Laurel Brinton, and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. All remaining shortcomings are, of course, my own. For generous financial support I thank the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (grant FPU13/02618), the European Regional Development Fund, the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (grant FFI2017-86884-P) and the Regional Government of Galicia (grants ED431B 2017/12 and ED431D 2017/09).

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English Language & Linguistics
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