Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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Frame Semantics offers a valuable perspective on mechanisms of semantic change, particularly metonymy. However, corpus-based frame analysis has rarely been applied to diachronic data. The potential of this approach is illustrated with a diachronic description of the Purpose frame in French, based on 1,429 tokens of 17 frame-evoking words. Metonymic mappings in the frame allow Means and Medium to replace Agent. A multinomial logistic regression model shows that usage of these mappings has increased since 1600 and is conditioned by genre and the frequency and grammatical category of the frame-evoking word. The approach may inform how metonymy leads to lexicalized semantic change.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): diachrony; Frame Semantics; FrameNet; metonymy; purposive constructions; semantic change
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