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Reading: ‘Don’t you ma’am me!’: A Construction-based Analysis of the Schema ‘don’t you V me’ Expressi...

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‘Don’t you ma’am me!’: A Construction-based Analysis of the Schema ‘don’t you V me’ Expressing Disapproval in English

Author:

José Antonio Sánchez Fajardo

University of Alicante, ES
About José
José A. Sánchez Fajardo received his PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Alicante, where he is currently a lecturer. His research interests include morphology, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. His latest publications revolve around the phenomena of morphological pejoration and analogy.
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Abstract

The cognitive construction grammar (CCxG) approach can be used to examine the correlation between a constructional schema (CS) and an illocutionary force, in spoken discourse. This study aims to explore the construction [D(Y)[X]viM]j as in “Don’t you ma’am me” in the expression of disapproval or reprimand through the CxG-based examination of data obtained from three corpora: The Movie Corpus (TMC), The TV Corpus (TTVC) and the Corpus of American Soap Operas (CASO). Five constructional schemas (CS-0 to CS-4) have been identified, and they pertain to a network of constructions in which low-level CSs are more unambiguous and productive than high-level ones. Although constant elements of such constructions contribute to a more solid correlation of form and meaning, the variable (verb) undergoes a process of functional shift to guarantee the formulaic constituency of these constructions and the expression of disapproval in a given communicative situation. A distinctive feature of the converted verb is its connection (or anchoring) to the preceding move, which can be either semantic or morphological (or echoic), the latter being, on some occasions, detached from the original meaning of the verb.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.537
How to Cite: Sánchez Fajardo, J.A., 2020. ‘Don’t you ma’am me!’: A Construction-based Analysis of the Schema ‘don’t you V me’ Expressing Disapproval in English. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(1), pp.322–349. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.537
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Published on 02 Sep 2020.
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