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


While existing literature on cause frequently cites the negative meaning associated with that lexeme, i.e. the fact that cause tends to appear with a negative outcome, e.g. cause an accident, really no scholar has studied in any detail the historical development of the phenomenon. In order to address this missing line of scholarship concerning the diachronic development of, what we refer to here as, a semantic prosody, this paper presents a fine-grained historical study of the development of the negative semantic associations of cause by comparing tokens from the Early Modern English period to those from Present-day English. We are able to conclude that the semantic prosody involved with cause is an emergent diachronic phenomenon. In addition, we are also able to argue that it is at the level of construction that such a prosodic pattern operates. Following from the notion that the semantic prosody is a construction-level phenomenon, we offer an exemplar-based model to motivate certain of the diachronic and synchronic facts.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): construction; exemplar model; language change; semantic prosody; usage-based theory
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