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The emergence of a new adverbial downtoner: Constructional change and constructionalization of Dutch [ver van X] and [verre van X] ‘far from X’

Book Contribution - Chapter

© 2018 John Benjamins Publishing Company. The English expression far from, denoting spatial or metaphorical distance, has developed into an adverbial downtoner (De Smet, 2012). In this corpus-based study, our first purpose is to analyze to which degree the Dutch counterparts of the English [far from X] construction, that is [ver van X] and [verre van X], have also developed into downtoners. We show that synchronically ver van mostly has a spatial or metaphorical meaning, while verre van is generally used as an adverbial downtoner. As a second objective, we explore the diachronic pathways taken by both constructions and argue that the category change undergone by [verre van X] is part of a true constructionalization process, while [ver van X] has been affected by minor constructional changes only.
Book: Category Change from a Constructional Perspective
Pages: 179 - 206
Publication year:2018