Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Usage-based models of language have proposed a dynamic, organized system based on analogy, or the recognition of similarity. The potential role of analogy between similar forms or constructions, however, is not often discussed. If we aim to illustrate grammaticalization and other diachronic processes not through one construction at a time — but by quantitatively assessing the relationship constructions — we may better address the role of analogy as a mechanism of change. This quantitative, diachronic, corpus-based examination of language-internal constructional analogy is based on four forms in Spanish: ‘highly’, ‘enormously’, ‘extraordinarily’, and ‘extremely’. These forms all occur in at least two basic constructions, in which they function as modifiers of verbs and as modifiers of modifiers. Analogical “transference” of paths of change between forms is proposed as a cross-linguistic language-internal process. Not only do forms compete with each other, but they also may borrow the path another has taken.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): analogy; constructions; intensifiers; language change; Spanish
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