Grammar-internal mimicking and analogy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mimicking is a form of imitation according to which a construction or part-construction is inserted in its most typical or recognisable form in a morphological or syntactic context without regard to its proper grammatical integration. The purpose of mimicking rather than adapting a structure is inter alia to maintain or enhance the expressivity of the construction for reasons of economy. A mimicked structure is typically recognisable by a grammatical ‘clash’ or incongruity with its context. Three types of mimicking will be distinguished and analysed. As mimicking and analogy share imitation as a typical trait, the two processes are compared extensively. The types of analogy selected for purposes of comparison, are proportional analogy and paradigm levelling as the ‘canonical’ types of analogy, and extension and blending as two ‘peripheral’ types. The main conclusion arrived at is that mimicking and analogy in its canonical form are two distinct processes, but that a certain measure of overlap is found between mimicking, extension and blending.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIconicity in Language and Literature
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameIconicity in Language and Literature
ISSN (Print)1873-5037

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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