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From Sound to Meaning in Context

Studies in Honour of Piotr Ruszkiewicz

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Alicja Witalisz

This volume is a collection of papers approaching the phenomenon of language from a variety of perspectives. Scholars in phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicology, historical linguistics and translation studies share the results of their research. They invite the reader on a journey into the multifaceted and complex world of human language, moving from the study of sound through the description of structure to the analysis of meaning. The volume has been brought together to honour Professor Piotr Ruszkiewicz from the Institute of Modern Languages of the Pedagogical University of Cracow, a linguist and academic lecturer.
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The Constructionalization of Because in Late Middle English: Rafał Molencki

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The Constructionalization of Because in Late Middle English

Rafał Molencki

University of Silesia, Katowice

1. Introduction

In this article we trace the etymology and the syntactic evolution of the causal conjunction because in Late Middle English. Its history is a clear example of grammaticalization, whereby the original complex phrase by/for the cause that (the prepositional phrase with the full noun cause followed by the subordinating particle that) goes down the decategorialization cline to reach the status of a subordinating conjunction. We will argue that the phrase arose in Middle English among bilingual speakers, who copied the Anglo-Norman structure par la cause que in the situation of common code-switching. The corpus data clearly show that the original phrase had appeared in Anglo-French two centuries before it is attested in Continental French.

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