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Like a sticker AbstractThis study explores a new type of grammaticalisation, namely, grammatical constructionalisation, based on an investigation of the use of a newly emerging construction, the [X.jpg] construction, in online forums in Taiwan. JP(E)G stands for ‘Joint Photographic Experts Group’. As an abbreviation for the file extension of images, it was initially attached to image files in computers. However, in Taiwanese Mandarin, new usages for it have developed, whereby it can be attached to any phrase, including those without any source images, thereby simply pretending that the phrase has an attached image. Since the file extension .jpg is a technical term and a bound morpheme, when it extends to attenuating the force of the speech act, it functions as a pragmatic marker or hedge. This process of change from lexical to grammatical is known as grammatical constructionalisation and reveals the results of the interplay between popular Internet memes and user psychology. When using [X.jpg], users tend to downtone the speaker’s attitude, increase solidarity among insiders and pursue vividness and a sense of humour. This usage initially emerged under the technical limitations of a text-only online environment. The findings of this study suggest that the constructionist approach is an efficient, unified theoretical framework for its explanatory adequacy in addressing issues concerning both synchronic lexical semantics and diachronic grammatical change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Review of Pragmatics Brill

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References (21)

Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1877-3095
eISSN
1877-3109
DOI
10.1163/18773109-01502005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis study explores a new type of grammaticalisation, namely, grammatical constructionalisation, based on an investigation of the use of a newly emerging construction, the [X.jpg] construction, in online forums in Taiwan. JP(E)G stands for ‘Joint Photographic Experts Group’. As an abbreviation for the file extension of images, it was initially attached to image files in computers. However, in Taiwanese Mandarin, new usages for it have developed, whereby it can be attached to any phrase, including those without any source images, thereby simply pretending that the phrase has an attached image. Since the file extension .jpg is a technical term and a bound morpheme, when it extends to attenuating the force of the speech act, it functions as a pragmatic marker or hedge. This process of change from lexical to grammatical is known as grammatical constructionalisation and reveals the results of the interplay between popular Internet memes and user psychology. When using [X.jpg], users tend to downtone the speaker’s attitude, increase solidarity among insiders and pursue vividness and a sense of humour. This usage initially emerged under the technical limitations of a text-only online environment. The findings of this study suggest that the constructionist approach is an efficient, unified theoretical framework for its explanatory adequacy in addressing issues concerning both synchronic lexical semantics and diachronic grammatical change.

Journal

International Review of PragmaticsBrill

Published: Jul 11, 2023

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