Grammaticalisation from side to side
The purpose of my paper is to describe the development and grammaticalization of the preposition and conjunct <i>beside(s)</i> in English. This linking word probably goes back to the uncommon Old English construction <i>be</i> + <i>sidan</i>. In Middle English, the grammaticalization of the preposition and conjunct takes place rapidly. This process involves the development of more abstract senses. Subjectification probably played a role in this development. Two Old and Early Middle English syntactic constructions, i.e., dat. + prep. phrase (<i>him on hype</i> ‘him on hip’, ‘by his side’) and <i>þær</i> ‘there’ + adverb/preposition, (<i>þærin(ne)</i> ‘therein’; <i>þærfore</i> therefore’), probably contributed to the development. The discussion is illustrated by evidence derived from available computerized corpora and historical dictionaries.