Where is going to going to go? A Generative Proposal between Diachrony and Synchrony

Nicholas Catasso

Abstract


The aim of this paper is threefold: first, to examine the diachronic development of the be going to construction in English from a historical point of view, investigating the formation of this construction, as well as its change in function and semantics, through its occurrence in texts of various kinds. Secondly, to provide a motivation for the grammaticalization of this construction, which also implies reanalysis, by proposing a possible diachronic derivation for this complex structure from a generative perspective. In fact, the development of be going to follows a grammaticalization path identified for a wide range of future constructions cross-linguistically, including the stages andative > purposive > future (Bybee & Dahl, 1989). In the third place, to formulate guesses on the future development of the construction through a synchronic corpus-oriented observation of its use in PDE. The current paper summarizes the results achieved by the research, with some original discussion to highlight some of the issues involved.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v4i1.1413

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