Reusing structures through metaphor in verb-noun combinations
There is a number of verb-noun combinations which maintain a semantic correspondence with simple verbs (e. g. dar un abrazo — abrazar ‘to give a hug — to hug’). Traditionally, they have been accounted for as consisting of a grammaticalized functional verb which originates from a homonymic main verb, but this kind of account is unsatisfactory. On the one hand, there is no evidence supporting the alleged grammaticalization. On the other, this implies duplicating units and categories. A metaphor-based account, on the contrary, provides a more adequate explanation. First, an ontological metaphor achieves the reification of abstract entities, which then allow for the same kinds of operations as physical objects. This provides a basis for an additional metaphor consisting in some of kind of manipulation. These second-level metaphors do not appear in isolation. Rather, they tend to deploy as consistent networks which develop the original idea. There is no syntactic or lexical innovation. Preexistent units and structures are simply reused through metaphorical extensions which increase polysemy.