Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Based on exhaustive diachronic corpus data, this paper determines the relative chronology in which the size nouns heap(s) and lot(s) have developed quantifier uses within NP of NP-syntagms, as in heaps / a lot of people. Using a constructional approach, it is claimed that size nouns occur in three distinct constructions or form–meaning pairings identified on the basis of systematic syntactic, semantico-pragmatic and collocational features. I argue that in order to establish which size noun was first to develop a quantifier use, we have to analyse diachronic data sets in terms of three constructions, viz. lexical head, partitive and quantifier constructions. In doing so, I will argue against the claim that heap developed its quantifier use first, around 1300, while lot developed one only around 1800. I will show that heap and lot(s) appear in an early partitive construction, c1300 and c1200, respectively, in which they are head nouns and have a collective sense. The quantifier construction in which heap(s) and lot(s) have modifier status and assess quantity similar to canonical quantifier many/much appears around the same time for both, viz. c1780.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text 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