Volume 42, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper investigates the process of constructionalization and constructional change of apparently noncanonical yet highly frequent V-NP expressions in Mandarin Chinese, which exist in other languages as well (e.g., Southeast Asian languages and African languages). A corpus-based survey of 20 frequently used monosyllabic verbs shows that both the token and the type frequency of the noncanonical V-NP expressions have on the whole been increasing throughout the history of the Chinese language. From a constructional perspective, it is proposed that the noncanonical V-NP structure has gone through a process of grammatical constructionalization and constructional change (Traugott & Trousdale 2013), which involves diachronic changes in productivity, schematicity and compositionality and which is manifested in the increasing number of the semantic types of postverbal NPs.


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