What is a grammatical unit? How does grammatical structure evolve? How can we best investigate the mental representation of grammar? What is the connection between language use and language structure? This book aims to help answer such questions by presenting a detailed analysis of English complex prepositions (e.g. in spite of or with respect to) on the basis of large amounts of authentic language data dating from the Middle Ages until today.
1. Introduction 2. Data Collection and Research Methodology 3. Complex Prepositions - Indivisible Units or Free Constructions? 4. Grammaticalization and Complex Prepositions 5. Complex Prepositions - a Diachronic Overview 6. Complex Prepositions in Present-Day English 7. In Terms of - a New Discourse Marker 8. Are Low-Frequency Complex Prepositions Grammaticalized? 9. Conclusion
Corpus based linguistics is a dynamic area of linguistic research. The series aims to reflect the diversity of approaches to the subject, and thus to provides a forum for debate and detailed discussion of the various ways of building, exploiting and theorizing about the use of corpora in language studies.