Whoop her up, hit it, go it alone: the role of the personal pronoun in the fossilization process

Abstract : The present study looks into verbal phrasemes with a verb + it pattern, which have received very little attention beyond the well-established fact that the pronoun there loses some of its referentiality. It focuses more specifically on the role and morphological features of the pronoun in those phrasemes. A corpus-based study shows that the verb + it pattern licenses a number of prototypically intransitive verbs; it is argued that this capacity of the transitive pattern to override individual argument realisations is related to the prototypical semantics associated with the syntactic function of direct object. The study also seeks to determine why personal pronouns are the only type of pronoun licensed in those phrases. They are shown to be the default pronouns in terms of procedural information. Another issue is that of gender: a few phrasemes license alternation between the neuter and the feminine in several varieties of nonstandard English.
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Contributor : Laure Gardelle <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 7:48:14 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 21, 2019 - 11:30:07 AM

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Laure Gardelle. Whoop her up, hit it, go it alone: the role of the personal pronoun in the fossilization process. Yearbook of Phraseology, 2011, 2, pp. 163-178. ⟨ensl-00681594⟩

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