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The development of prepositional absent in Contemporary American English: A corpus-based constructional approach

Abstract : We focus here on the use of absent in such utterances as Absent any other facts, there arises an implied contract. is usage is labelled "preposition" in dictionaries of English. e question we ask is whether absent really functions as a preposition in English nowadays. is would involve a change from a lexical category (that of adjective) to a grammatical one (preposition)-in other words, a grammaticalization process. A er explaining how we collected the data used in this study (section 2), we consider how absent might possibly have grammaticalized into a preposition (section 3). We argue that the change is not so much about the grammaticalization of an individual item as about the emergence of a new construction, a process known as constructionalization. In section 4 other contemporary usages of absent are examined, and evidence that the item has acquired prepositional status is adduced. Finally, since we posit matching through analogy with the construction to be key in that process, a comparison between the prepositions without and absent is drawn in present-day English (section 5).
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03502262
Contributor : Fabienne Toupin Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 9:37:33 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 14, 2022 - 3:38:14 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03502262, version 1

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Sylvain Gatelais, Fabienne Toupin. The development of prepositional absent in Contemporary American English: A corpus-based constructional approach. Studies in the Evolution of the English Language, 2021, 9783631862865. ⟨halshs-03502262⟩

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