Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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In the Late Modern English period, several expressions arose with concessive ‘despite what might be expected’ meaning, among them and (Lenker 2010). The topic of this paper is the rise of the specialized concessive construction “but () X all the same”. In the full rhetorical formula of which it is a part, X is initially represented as not having properties Y but nevertheless as having sufficient other relevant properties to be classified as X, as in “…fear. It is not the eye-rolling, quaking fear seen in police states, but it is fear all the same” (1963 ). Here the writer concedes that there is fear despite Y (see Horn [1991] on “redundant information”) and invites the addressee to reinterpret the initial X retrospectively (see Haselow [2013] on functions of “final particles”). Using data mainly from 3.0 and , I discuss the conventionalization of this construction in terms of Diachronic Construction Grammar and argue alongside, for example, Goldberg (2004)Cappelle (2017) and Finkbeiner (2019) that pragmatics should be given a larger role in construction grammar than has often been the case in the past.


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