S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 51 Number 1/3 (2015)
Corpus Study on Metaphoricity and Grammatical Patterns of Phrasal Verbs Come By and Come Across
- Choi, Youngju
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.51 No.3, pp. 679-700
- corpus; COCA(Corpus of Contemporary American English); phrasal verbs; come by; come across; metaphoricity; grammatical patterns
- Corpus studies have revealed that when words are used metaphorically or metonymically, they tend to have a different category than they do in literal usage. They also have different syntactic patterns – metaphoric and metonymic usage has been known to have more rigid grammatical patterns relative to literal usage (Deignan 1999, 2005, 2006; Hilpert 2006). This paper explores whether these differences also occur in phrasal verbs, specifically by observing the phrasal verbs come by and come across. Phrasal verbs attain their special statuses through metaphorical and metonymic development of literal senses of verbs and those of particles (Lindner 1981, 1982; Morgan 1997). Phrasal verbs, then, by definition do not have literal meanings. However, assuming Hanks claim that metaphoricity is gradable, it is still possible to compare less metaphoric usage with more metaphoric one. It is reasonable to predict that more metaphoric usage of phrasal verbs will show more rigidity in their syntax patterns. Compared to its more literal meaning to pay a short visit, come by bears a more fixed syntactic pattern when its meaning is to obtain. Again, in the case of come across, the syntactic pattern is more fixed when it means to give an impression rather than the less metaphoric meaning to find.