Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper is about constructional change that is brought about through change in non-linguistic practice. The English construction of interest is one that speakers use to initiate bets with their addressees. Its verb is , its subject is the speaker, and its direct object is the stake the speaker proposes to risk. It is argued that the motivation for the use of comes partly from the practice of laying down stakes when making bets. However, it is shown that over the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries this practice declines, weakening the basis for a physical interpretation and leading hearers to attend instead to the speaker-addressee relation. Concurrently, this relation is increasingly expressed through the use of a dative argument. This development is discussed in relation to Ariel et al.’s (2015) account of added datives.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ariel, M.
    (1990) Accessing noun phrase antecedents. London/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Ariel, M. , Dattner, E. , Du Bois, J. W. , & Linzen, T.
    (2015) Pronominal datives: The royal road to argument status. Studies in Language, 39(2), 257–321. doi: 10.1075/sl.39.2.01ari
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.39.2.01ari [Google Scholar]
  3. Berger, R.
    (1940) From hostage to contract. Illinois Law Review, 35(3), 281–292.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bosworth, J.
    (Ed. Northcote Toller, T. ) (1898) An Anglo-Saxon dictionary based on the manuscript collections of the late Joseph Bosworth. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bybee, J. , & Pagliuca, W.
    (1985) Cross-linguistic comparison and the development of grammatical meaning. In J. Fisiak (Ed.), Historical semantics, historical word formation (pp.59–83). Berlin/New York/Amsterdam: Mouton Publishers.. doi: 10.1515/9783110850178.59
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110850178.59 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bybee, J. , & Torres Cacoullos, R.
    (2009) The role of prefabs in grammaticization: How the particular and the general interact in language change. In R. Corrigan , E. A. Moravcsik , H. Ouali , & K. M. Wheatley (Eds.), Formulaic language. Volume 1: Distribution and historical change (pp.187–217). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.82.09the
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.82.09the [Google Scholar]
  7. Chafe, W.
    (1994) Discourse, consciousness, and time. The flow and displacement of conscious experience in speaking and writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Croft, W. , & Cruse, D. A.
    (2004) Cognitive linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511803864
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511803864 [Google Scholar]
  9. Du Bois, J. W.
    (2003) Discourse and grammar. In M. Tomasello (Ed.), The new psychology of language: Cognitive and functional approaches to language structure. Volume2 (pp.47–87). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Fillmore, C. J.
    (1977) The case for case reopened. In P. Cole & J. M. Sadock (Eds.), Syntax and semantics. Volume 8: Grammatical relations (pp.59–81). New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Fotion, N.
    (1981) I’ll bet you $10 that betting is not a speech act. In H. Parret , M. Sbisà , & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Possibilities and limitations of pragmatics. Proceedings of the conference on pragmatics, Urbino, July 8–14, 1979 (pp.211–223). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/slcs.7.14fot
    https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.7.14fot [Google Scholar]
  12. Geeraerts, D.
    (2002) The interaction of metaphor and metonymy in composite expressions. In R. Dirven & R. Pörings (Eds.), Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast (pp.435–465). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110219197.435
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110219197.435 [Google Scholar]
  13. Givón, T.
    (1975) Serial verbs and syntactic change: Niger-Congo. In C. N. Li (Ed.), Word order and word order change (pp.47–112). Austin: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Goldberg, A. E.
    (1995) Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Himmelmann, N. P.
    (2004) Lexicalization and grammaticalization: Opposite or orthogonal?In W. Bisang , N. Himmelmann , & B. Wiemer (Eds.), What makes grammaticalization? A look at its fringes and its components (pp.19–40). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Lambrecht, K.
    (1994) Information structure and sentence form: Topic, focus, and the mental representations of discourse referents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620607
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620607 [Google Scholar]
  17. Langacker, R. W.
    (2008) Cognitive Grammar: A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  18. Létoublon, F.
    (1991) Promisi per iocum. In R. Coleman (Ed.), New studies in Latin linguistics: Selected papers from the 4th International Colloquium on Latin Linguistics, Cambridge, April 1987 (pp.163–185). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Nunberg, G. , Sag, I. A. , & Wasow, T.
    (1994) Idioms. Language, 70(3), 491–538. doi: 10.1353/lan.1994.0007
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1994.0007 [Google Scholar]
  20. Ruppenhofer, J. , Ellsworth, M. , Petruck, M. R. L. , Johnson, C. R. , & Scheffczyk, J.
    (2010) FrameNet II: Extended theory and practice.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Stern, G.
    (1968 [1931]) Meaning and change of meaning. With special reference to the English language. Bloomington/London: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Toller, T. N.
    (1921) An Anglo-Saxon dictionary based on the manuscript collections of the late Joseph Bosworth. Supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Traugott, E. C.
    (1991) English speech act verbs: A historical perspective. In L. R. Waugh & S. Rudy (Eds.), New vistas in grammar: Invariance and variation (pp.387–406). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.49.24clo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.49.24clo [Google Scholar]
  24. Traugott, E. C. , & Trousdale, G.
    (2013) Constructionalization and constructional changes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679898.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679898.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  25. Verhagen, A.
    (2007) Construal and perspectivization. In D. Geeraerts & H. Cuyckens (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of cognitive linguistics (pp.48–81). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error