Title: The grammaticalization of nominal type noun constructions with kind/sort of: chronology and paths of change
Authors: Brems, Lieselotte * ×
Davidse, Kristin * #
Issue Date: 2010
Series Title: English Studies vol:91 issue:2 pages:180 -202
Abstract: Denison distinguishes three main NP constructions with type nouns such as sort/kind/type of in Present-day English, viz. the head, postdeterminer and qualifier constructions. The latter two developed from the binominal construction in which lexically full sort/kind/type is the head followed by a second noun designating a superordinate class. In the chronology he posits the postdeterminer construction as an early reanalysis of the binominal construction (c1390 for all kind of and c1550 for kind and sort of), whereas the qualifying constructions developed later from it (c1580 for kind of and c1710 for sort of), via the mediation of the postdeterminer construction. However, in recent synchronic corpus studies we have distinguished two additional NP constructions with type nouns, viz. quantifier and descriptive modifier, on the basis of syntactic, semantic and collocational features. In the present article we consider the diachronic import of these newly distinguished constructions and argue that they are key pivots in the developmental paths that have led from the head construction to constructions in which the type noun is not the head. By thus refining Denison’s proposed chronology, we argue that new constructions emerge as the result of complex interlocking paths in which the quantifier and descriptive modifier constructions predated, and helped facilitate and entrench, the postdeterminer and qualifying constructions.
ISSN: 0013-838X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Functional and Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology (FunC), Leuven
* (joint) first author
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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