Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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This study looks at the variable use of two related forms, namely the reflexive construction () and the construction (). Despite their differences, the two constructions are often used in ways that can be described as one taking over the other’s expressive functions. Following Mondorf (2011), I assume that the variation results in part from the historical competition between the two, and from the fact that the process of specialization is not yet complete. I present another factor responsible for the overlap, which may keep the specialization from ever being concluded. It involves specific uses of a construction chunked into formulaic phrases (like ) which are used reversively () against the specifications of the construction they are based on. That is, the kind of variation discussed here is set in motion by the same mechanism observed in novelty motivated through local analogies with specific expressions and low-level instances of a construction.


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