Word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence : A corpus-based study of the N1 by N1 construction
The present paper examines the N1 by N1 construction using corpus linguistic methodology.The distribution of types of the construction that occur more than once either unhyphenated or hyphenated in any subcorpus of the British National Corpus accessed through the BrighamYoung University interface is examined. Written and spoken language as well as variousgenres are compared. Hyphenation is also investigated. A collocation analysis of some typesof the construction is further carried out and it is concluded that the N1 by N1 construction canbe part of the on a N1 by N1 basis construction. Results from the quantitative analysis as wellas the qualitative discussion suggest that the N P N construction may be undergoinglexicalisation starting as an adverbial and moving to functioning as a premodifier. Thissuggestion is indicated through complementary diachronic searches in the Oxford EnglishDictionary. It is also indicated that the construction may follow a development pattern similarto that of N1 to N1. The notion of construction is discussed in relation to the N1 by N1 construction, and a hierarchical view of constructions is proposed as a solution to some of theproblems with the term.
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