Title: Germanic Future Constructions
Subtitle: A usage-based approach to language change
Series Title: Constructional Approaches to Language 7
Publisher: John Benjamins
Author: Martin Hilpert
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027218292 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 95.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027218292 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 143.00
This study offers a Construction Grammar approach to the historical development and modern usage of future constructions in English, German, Dutch, Danish, and Swedish. On the basis of corpus data, constructions such as English be going to or German werden are analyzed as symbolic units that convey a range of temporal and modal meanings. A special focus lies on the main verbs that occur with these constructions. Statistical co-occurrence patterns between constructions and lexical items guide the semantic analyses in this study: It is argued that a construction that conventionally occurs with main verbs such as write or speak differs functionally from a construction that typically occurs with verbs such as rain or increase. The same approach is also applied historically: If a construction co-occurs with different main verbs at subsequent stages in time, this is seen as a sign of semantic change.