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Two more elements can come in here as well. In other words, there is already a stronger N2 type constraint in the literal uses for the latter two. Secondly, there is also a difference of scale which is crucial here; avalanches and floods are of a grander and more destructive scale than heaps and piles whose size is relative to the constituting elements as well as the location.

Table 1. Synchronic layering of the uses observed for the binominal quantifier construction. Hoffmann , Verveckken b. Further, it may be asked whether the development of BQ constructions should not be considered a case of lexicalization, since some BQ constructions especially those with a rich source semantics maintain strong collocational ties with N2. In this section, we will adduce further arguments for considering the development of two functional uses Section 3.

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The de -categorialization concerns the loss of typical noun-features of the QN. Hay una pila grande de gente en la puerta. Hay una gran pila de gente en la puerta. BQ constructions overrule the combinatorial restrictions the literal N1 use imposes on N2: while the literal use of pila limits the N2 to nouns designating easily stackable objects usually made of paper e. Some QNs have developed the aptitude to intensify adjectives and adverbs e.

Las malas lenguas estaban la mar de bien informadas. Arrabal, La torre herida por el rayo , The evil tongues were extremely well [literally: the sea of well] informed.


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Quantifying or specifying QNs no longer necessarily evoke a concrete, tangible configuration or group of spatiotemporally contiguous N2-entities. Nor is there any mass of letters simultaneously crushing down on the speaker. Instead, the BQ construction acquires a quantifying reading and permits to expressively and hyperbolically quantify the group of letters. In preview of Section 4, it is fair to say that there is no loss of semantic complexity. Instead, in close interaction with the specific usage context, the individual QNs allow for a series of different construals of N2 by virtue of the conceptual image persistence associated with the QN.

Although they have come to express quantity assessment and expanded their structural scope, they continue to be compositional and analyzable. By way of comparison, no phonological attrition has taken place as is the case of some English constructions e. Yet from a discourse perspective, there seems to be nothing problematic about the structural ambiguity of the construction: whether or not the QN combines with typically nominal features, the speaker will automatically exploit its quantifying potential. The binominal construction, as far as Spanish is concerned, is a highly productive tool for expressive quantification and also qualification of N2.

Similarly, in one of the occurrences analyzed, the binominal pattern coerces a quantifying interpretation: in 12 , the BQ construction forces a primarily countable noun to shift to mass noun interpretation. Finally, the binominal pattern appears to be a crosslinguistic locus of grammaticalization Brems , Koptjevskaja-Tamm , Masini Fc. Recalaron asimismo en el resguardado puerto de Fornells, …. Fauner, Flor de sal , They roasted heaps of sardine for the crew, and they also cooked a giant turtle with artichokes, beans, peas and tender potatoes ….

The development of BQ constructions is characterized by host-class expansion, decategorialization and syntactic context expansion.

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First, the class of N2s the QN expands to animate and abstract nouns. Second, the shift into quantifying uses gave way to partial decategorialization or syntactic indeterminacy. First, not only do QNs acquire quantifying and specifying uses, they are also endowed with an evaluative potential. The latter profiles a neatly stacked up set, while the former evokes an unordered amount. Finally, the development of BQ constructions is also characterized by divergence, since the literal QN continues to be used outside the binominal construction and in some cases exploits its quantifying potential in other construction types as well e.

However, diachronic corpus analysis Verveckken a has revealed not only that each of the analyzed QNs has followed a particular sometimes even unique pathway of change, but also that, at least until the beginning of the 19th century, the first functional uses of low-frequency items are always contextually embedded and arise via pragmatic strengthening or scalar implicatures. In line with the constructional networks proposed by Traugott and Trousdale forthc. Every new BQ construction then strengthens the spontaneous association between the binominal structure and the expression of a large quantity at a more schematic level and smoothens the emergence of new possibly low-frequency QNs.

In sum, the shift to functional uses of low-frequency QNs can be regarded as an instance of grammaticalization if it gives way to context-expansion and if one allows grammaticalization to be prompted by analogical thinking. Verveckken a.

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Over time, the N2-collocates no longer necessarily constitute prototypical instances of a specific cluster by their lexical meaning cf. Those who form this gang, the good-natured Mother transforms us in cows and lets us go by these ravines. In his view Trousdale 58 , lexicalization leads to idiom-like constructions, while grammaticalization leads to more schematic constructions.

Likewise, the tendency or inherent constructional possibility to display a high degree of semantic persistence cf. The persistence refers to the semantic components that live on in the grammaticalized quantifier next to the newer, more functional reading which is foregrounded. Finally, the development of BQ constructions fails to have another characteristic of lexicalization, viz. The collocational ties both with N2 and the wider context in synchrony, or the semantic clustering both of N1s and N2s in diachrony, highlight the importance of the interaction between semantic persistence and analogy.

In the next section, we will zoom in on the role of semantic persistence in the use and development of BQ constructions in Spanish.

The meaning of hatajo de cabritos in 4 repeated here for convenience cannot be grasped without including various facets of the literal meaning of a herd such as its lack of individuality, its moving gregariously in one direction, guided by a herd instinct, the inference of mental weakness, etc.

This phenomenon is reminiscent of Hopper's 22 parameter of lexical persistence. Lexical persistence refers to the tendency of some grammaticalizing items to retain particular features of their original lexical use, which may continue to influence their further developments in various ways. First, the lexicographic treatment of the Spanish QNs presents quite severe omissions. The case-study on QNs in Spanish for instance shows that the conceptual facets that may persist in the functional uses need not coincide with the foregrounded facets in the original, lexical use.

In other words, unprofiled elements of the original frame can become foregrounded in the grammaticalized uses, while involving metaphoric and metonymic extension mechanisms. The selection of conceptual facet s that persist s in one occurrence need not coincide with the conceptual persistence in other occurrences, since it is co-determined by the particular contextual setting and the N2-collocate cf.

Yet, in 18 , the abruptness and newness of the N2s are particularly prominent: while de repente specifically highlights the suddenness of the appearance, the postmodifying nuevos stresses the idea that the curas did not behave as such before and somehow just came into being. The latter facet is, however, not foregrounded in 18 , and is, to some extent, not even compatible with the context. Salisachs, La gangrena , Suddenly , a flood of new priests set out solutions that had never been heard of before.

If all QNs would desemanticize drastically and end up as true, absolute quantifiers merely expressing an excessive quantity, there would be no need to extend the paradigm of quantifiers. Yet as stated in Section 3. Quantity assessment in the BQs is also achieved by a comparison construal, not to a reference mass including all possible instances of N2, but to the specific configuration or constellation typically associated with N1.

In order to assess the size of the group of llamadas 'phone calls' in un alud de llamadas , the speaker metaphorically compares the size of N2 to the volume or configuration typically associated with alud as a lexical item. The amount of phone calls may then be construed as an uninterrupted chain that violently overwhelms the person answering the phone, as if they were snowing him under as a literal avalanche.

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As a consequence, conceptual image persistence leads to individual configurations of N2 according to the QN selected and the specific context it occurs in. Similarly, conceptual persistence prevents QNs from being mutually interchangeable without at least slightly altering the conceptualization of N2. Arde la chimenea. The chimney is burning. Suddenly a mob of people commanded by the King himself burst into his room [ A partir de las 9.

In the present section, we will argue that conceptual persistence can account for apparent inconsistencies in the morpho-syntactic make-up of the BQ construction. In Section 3. What is more, as long as the co-selection patterns are motivated, BQ constructions are unlikely to engage in routinization processes such as phonological attrition, in contrast to English alotta , helluva , French beaucoup or Dutch heleboel for instance.

N1 does not admit, however, relational adjectives e. This tendency is functionally and conceptually motivated: Delbecque shows that by preposing the adjective, the property attributed to the noun is presented as unquestionable and presuppositional knowledge, whereas the postmodifying adjective invites a comparison of the modified noun to other instances of its type for the property expressed by the adjective.

The productive adjective co-selection pattern in functional uses thus corresponds to the QNs with a particularly rich source semantics. Table 2. Variation in the premodification pattern per QN per reading. Strictly speaking, the literal or head uses are free to combine with any type of adjective cf. This tendency is probably due to the fact that binominal patterns by definition include a type-specification of N1, viz.

Likewise, only few instances are observed where specifier uses have a premodifying adjective to N1. Quantifying uses seem to combine slightly more easily with premodifying adjectives, yet only with a restricted set, viz.

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Since N1 has head-status in the literal uses, this use is expected to present more variation as to the N1-determiner. Table 3. Distribution of determiner variation per reading. First, generalizing over the different readings, the indefinite determiner is the preferred combination. A fine-grained qualitative analysis has shown that the topicalized nature of the BQ construction is precondition to the use of definite determiners.

The preference for the indefinite determiner un a is discourse-pragmatically motivated as well, since it goes hand in hand with the typical rhematic status of the BQ construction cf. Mihatsch The discourse-pragmatic character of the determiner variation becomes particularly obvious by the substitution test: if the BQ construction would be replaced by a determiner, it would continue to belong to the same class, viz.

In other words, although the determiner agrees morphologically with N1, it semantically scopes over N2. About a wimp or a woman?


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