Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-7233
  • E-ISSN: 2589-7241
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This study aims to illustrate a systemic functional framework for analysing the change of constructions which are inherently form-meaning correspondences. The study first discusses the value of systemic functional linguistics (hereafter SFL) to solving the perceived problems arising from the theoretical model of grammaticalisation. The dominance of grammaticalisation theory in historical linguistics has led some to equate grammaticalisation with language change. However, a systematic exploration of the semantic change is frequently lost in the literature on grammaticalisation. SFL, since its beginning in the early 1980s, has become a leading linguistics school in dealing with semantic and lexicogrammatical changes and the mapping between meaning and form. This study proposes a framework in which SFL theories allow us to address the critical issues in construction change, hence providing mechanisms for the diachronic analysis of both semantic and lexicogrammatical changes. On the basis of the framework, this study focuses its analysis on the change of resultative constructions (hereafter RCs) in Old Chinese and Old English. The diachronic analysis shows that new constructions emerge through a cycle of language change in which the interaction of semantics and lexicogrammar plays a central role. In addition, semantic condensing and compacting are critical steps in the creation of new constructions.


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