Categorization and Constructional Change in Spanish Expressions of 'Becoming'

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In Categorization and Constructional Change Damián Vergara Wilson uses the Spanish change-of-state construction quedar(se) + ADJ to analyze the impact of categorization on constructional change and productivity in data spanning eight centuries. In usage, the appearance of one adjective in the construction triggers the emergence of related ones through analogical extension propelling the expansion of semantic categories of adjectives. Categories develop in different ways reflecting the characteristics of their members in terms of semantics and conventionalization. Emergence tends to relate to the ability of one construction to attract adjective types away from another. This study gives insight into the cognitive status and complex evolution of a schematic construction in a way that supports an instance-based model of memory.
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Biographical Note

Damián Vergara Wilson, Ph.D. (2009), University of New Mexico, is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at that university. He has publised articles on sociolinguistics, on linguistic evolution of constructions through usage, and on the emergence Spanish/English bilingual compound verb constructions.

Readership

Scholars at all levels interested in diachronic construction grammar, usage-based linguistics, the exemplar model of cognitive representation, constructional change, Hispanic Linguistics, and studying language as a complex adaptive system.

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