JUST Revisited: Panchronic and Contrastive Insights

  • Clara Molina
  • Manuela Romano
Keywords: pragmatic markers, grammaticalization, semasiology, onomasiology, panchronic, cross-linguistic, JUST

Abstract

Contrastive studies of cognate pragmatic markers involving modality have become increasingly salient in recent times. In describing semantic and discursive differences in different languages and language families, these studies are paving the way for a better understanding of grammaticalization, pragmaticalization and (inter)subjectification paths. The present paper aims at contributing to the discussion by means of providing a synchronic and diachronic account of the marker JUST that combines semasiological and onomasiological insights. As thoroughly described in previous studies, JUST is a complex polycentric category in which overlapping nuances have been activated over time. In English and in other languages, the diachronic evolution of JUST involves an increasing semantic expansion from scalar to subjectified meanings and an increasing restriction in grammatical flexibility. However, polysemization and the emergence of grammaticalized readings seem to have gone further in English than in other languages. The present study, situated within the emerging field of panchronic cross-linguistic research on discourse markers, aims at ascertaining why.

Author Biographies

Clara Molina
Is Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the English Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). Her research interests fall under the language- culture-cognition umbrella and has published on multilingualism, language variation and change, lexical semantics and lexicology, and grammaticalization. She has been a visiting scholar at the English Language and Linguistics Department at the University of Kent (UK), and while a predoctoral student conducted funded research at the University of California at Berkeley (USA), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and Stanford University (USA).
Manuela Romano
Is Senior Lecturer in English Linguistics at the English Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Over her academic career she has been active in several fields: English historical linguistics, grammaticalization, semantics and discourse and narrative studies, all within socio-cognitive approaches to language. She has been a visiting scholar at the Linguistics Department at the University of California at Berkeley (USA) and Anglia-Ruskin University, Cambridge (UK).
Published
15-05-2012
How to Cite
Molina, C., & Romano, M. (2012). JUST Revisited: Panchronic and Contrastive Insights. International Journal of English Studies, 12(1), 17-36. https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes.12.1.118831
Section
Articles