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This study utilizes quantitative research methods in performing a diachronic analysis of the grammaticalization of “gotchu” in Present-Day-English (PDE). Current literature in the field of grammaticalization has focused heavily on “get” and the grammaticalization thereof (Gronemeyer, 1999); crucially, the literature regarding the grammaticalization of “gotchu”, a newly developed and continually evolving slang term, remains under-researched. Methodological approaches to this analysis include extensive review of corpora: specifically, I utilize Brigham Young University’s Global Web Based English (GloWbE), iWeb, Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), and additionally, I have extracted data from Twitter using advanced Twitter searches analyzing the usage of the term “gotchu” in its various available contexts. Drawing off of 300 cumulative pre-selected instances of “got + you” and ‘gotchu” I have coded them for their syntactic, morphosyntactic, morphophonological, semantic, and discourse-pragmatic development and performed token frequency analyses. Additionally, I analyze the generalization and bleaching, persistence, and layering of the hypothesized grammatical form ‘gotchu’s’ lexical and grammatical function. Preliminary analyses indicate that ‘gotchu’ has become more morphologically bound and more polysemous; its increased polysemies have facilitated its wider syntactic scope. Notable evidence for its wider syntactic scope includes its usage with a null syntactic subject (ø.subj.) which facilitates a wider range of subjects for the listener to interpret. This supports my key argument that ‘gotchu’ evolved into a discourse-particle at the turn of the 21st century. keywords: grammaticalization, frequency, bleaching, persistence, layering
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