Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0257-3784
  • E-ISSN: 2212-9731
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Abstract. This paper investigates the semantic development of icey 'now,' originating as a temporal adverb and evolving into a discourse marker, by analyzing a large corpus drawn from diachronic and synchronic data. Further, through a corpus-based frequency analysis this study explores the mecha-nism of the semantic change. It demonstrates that icey was used as a transition device in historical texts which focuses on a temporal contrast or shift between one event and another. By analyzing the distribution of icey in both written and spoken corpus, it shows that the discourse meaning of icey emerges in the contexts where the speaker/writer expresses his/her subjective stance and attempts to elicit attention from the addressee/reader. It argues that (inter)subjectivity is the primary factor for the semantic extension of icey.


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