1887
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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Abstract

Through a discourse-grounded internal reconstruction that aims at capturing the emergence of grammatical structure, the study examines the development of the subjective epistemic particle jestli ‘[in-my-opinion-] maybe’ in conversational Czech. Through internal reconstruction, the change (syntactic complementizer > speaker-centered epistemic contextualizer > subjective epistemic particle) is presented as a metonymy-based conventionalization of a pragmatic meaning implied by certain tokens of indirect Y/N questions into a new modal meaning. Taking a Construction Grammar approach, so far largely untested on diachronic data, the point of the analysis is to show that we can engage in a systematic treatment of the gradualness of change, by (i) combining the ‘holistic’ (constructional) dimension with the internal, feature-based and discourse-motivated mechanisms of complex grammatical shifts, and (ii) appealing to the explanatory potential of general cognitive and communicative principles as they manifest themselves in natural discourse. I also propose a formalism for representing the transitional nature of intermediate patterns.

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/content/journals/10.1075/cf.1.2.04fri
2009-01-01
2018-10-22
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/cf.1.2.04fri
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