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<bi><i>Can you literally be scared sick</i>&#63;</bi>

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Abstract

This paper examines an unexpected pattern of change related to the Resultative and Degree Modifier constructions np1 scare np2 sick/np be (literally) scared sick in the light of comparable diachronic changes (Margerie 2011). While some resultative constructions of the form np1 vb np2 xp//np be adj xp were historically reanalysed into Degree Modifier constructions, the data concerning the micro-constructions under study do not suggest a similar pathway. Rather, it seems that they were shaped analogically on the model of formally and functionally similar extant constructions, thus supporting Fischer&#8217;s (2010, <i>inter</i> <i>alia</i>) emphasis on the crucial role of the synchronic linguistic system in language change.

References

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