1887
Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Abstract

Abstract

This paper proposes a structural borrowing account for a lexicogrammatical phenomenon whereby, in on ongoing Cantonese discourse, the use of a single-word English preposition triggers and activates an English construction, specifically an NP COP P NP sequence, and brings it into that discourse. The borrowed structure eventually converges with Cantonese, with the English preposition reanalyzed as a verb or a coverb. It is further suggested that these processes of structural borrowing and convergence are semantically motivated. Drawing on Cognitive Grammar, the borrowed structure profiles a location as a relationship (whereas in Cantonese it is profiled as a thing by a postposition), and the (i.e., ) is profiled as a property of the subject or trajector (whereas in Cantonese a coverb phrase is always associated with a process). The converged constructions – in which an English preposition is reanalyzed as a verb or coverb – profile more dynamic and specific processes.

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2018-08-27
2019-10-20
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