Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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This article elucidates the synchronic and diachronic status of English light verbs. In doing so, it contributes to the debate on the status of light verbs cross-linguistically. Synchronically, light verbs appear to straddle the boundary between lexical and functional categories. This has led to the view that light verbs are a diachronic stage on a grammaticalisation cline from full verb to auxiliary. Another view holds that light verbs are historically a dead-end. In this article I will present synchronic and diachronic data that show that the history of English light verbs does not display signs of grammaticalisation. I will argue that English light verbs are synchronic variants of full verbs.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): diachrony; full verbs; grammaticalisation; light verbs; split vP; V/v
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