<i>Giving it my best shot</i>

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In this article I explore the extent to which the analysis of metaphoricallyderivedexpressions, such as “give someone a hug”, differs from that assigned tothe prototypical sense associated with the main verb in question. Taking expressionsinvolving the verb “give”, I consider a range of semantic departures fromprototypical “give”, in respect of the process type (material, mental, relationalprocess etc.) and the participant roles present. Using a Systemic FunctionalGrammar framework, I analyse candidate expressions according to their lexicogrammaticalpotential (e.g. associated syntactic alternation potential) and aset of tests to establish the participant roles present. The results of the analysisindicate a cline of differing degrees of lexicogrammatical departure from theprototype, reflecting their respective semantic departure.


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