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Author: Nicholas Smith


There is a fair degree of consensus that progressive aspect has undergone a substantial growth in use in late modern English, but so far few studies have systematically exploited corpus data to reveal the extent to which changes are still going on. The availability of ‘matching’ one-million word corpora of recent written English, namely the British LOB and FLOB corpora dating from 1961 and 1991 respectively, and their American counterparts Brown and Frown, allows some redressing of the balance: Mair and Hundt (1995) have found that in the newspaper sections of these corpora some functions of the progressive already existing in the 1960s become more common in the 1990s. This paper aims to extend the analysis by exploring the full versions of the British corpora, looking at a wider range of variables. The most striking rise in the progressive occurs in the present tense, where it is realised by a wider range of verb types (increasingly with a contracted auxiliary verb), and appears increasingly far more in main clauses than in subordinate clauses. However, as cautioned by Mair and Hundt, the impression of ‘pure’ grammatical change is somewhat clouded by evidence in the written corpora of stylistic change, in particular a drift towards more colloquial speech habits.

In: New Frontiers of Corpus Research
In: Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy


The quartet of corpora analysed in this paper are the Brown Corpus (AmE, 1961), LOB Corpus (BrE, 1961) Frown Corpus (AmE, 1992) and FLOB Corpus (BrE, 1991). The POS-tagged versions of these matching corpora provide the basis for tracking frequency changes in grammatical usage in written English 1961-1991/2 and for comparing similar changes in AmE and BrE. For example, there have been significant increases in the use of semi-modals, the present progressive, that-relativization, nouns (in particular proper nouns), s-genitives, and verb and negative contractions. Counterbalancing some of these changes, there have been significant decreases in the use of core modals, the passive voice, wh-relativization, and of-genitives. In general, the changes in AmE are more extreme than those in BrE. We discuss these changes in terms of general diachronic processes, particularly socially determined processes such as colloquialization and Americanization.

In: The Changing Face of Corpus Linguistics
In: Socrates and the Socratic Dialogue


The creation of the Lanc-31 corpus (familiarly known as B-LOB - ‘Before LOB’) completes a trio of matching corpora of standard written British English 1931- 1961 - 1991 on the model of the Brown corpus. The short-term history of English in the twentieth century can therefore now be examined using three equidistant broadly-sampled and comparable corpora of the written language, and it is possible to trace how far trends of change already observed in the comparison of LOB (1961) and F-LOB (1991) have themselves been undergoing change over the period in question.

We will present in outline the recent history of a considerable range of grammatical features insofar as it can be learned from frequency counts from these three equivalently-sampled corpora. In many cases examined, the trend of increasing or decreasing frequency observed in the later period (1961-91) is found to be a continuation of a similar trend in the earlier period (1931-61). In other cases there is change in the rate or direction of change. In other words, there is both constancy and change in the rate of change. We provide tentative explanations of these changes, where appropriate, in terms of grammaticalization, colloquialization, Americanization and densification. Comparable developments in American English, based on analysis of the equivalent Brown and Frown corpora, are traced for the 1961-92 period, and provide insight into the relation between the two regional varieties, mostly showing AmE trends to be in advance of those for BrE.

In: Corpus Linguistics
In: New Philosophies of Labour

The chapter begins by contrasting two approaches to the analysis of hope, one which takes its departure from a view broadly shared by Hobbes, Locke and Hume, another which fits better with Aquinas’s definition of hope. The former relies heavily on a sharp distinction between the cognitive and conative aspects of hope. It is argued that while this approach provides a valuable source of insights, its focus is too narrow and it rests on a problematic rationalist psychology. The chapter then discusses the phenomenology of hope with particular reference to the contrast between the lived experience of expectation and anticipation. This leads to a discussion of the value of hope. My thesis here is that when philosophers reflect on hope, they bring along background, tacit assumptions regarding its worth, which I attempt to make explicit. Finally the chapter identifies a second kind of philosophical reflection on hope, which is concerned not so much with the logic or value of hope as with hope understood as a ‘principle.’

In: Hope Against Hope
In: Axel Honneth: Critical Essays

Plants utilizing C3 physiology have a more difficult time establishing in rooftop environments than plants with more heat and drought adapted constitutions, such as species that employ crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). CAM species are much less susceptible to limitations of shallow, infertile soil-less media under abiotic and biotic stress. It is thought that soil amendments might improve rooftop media in a way that allows for C3 species to prosper in rooftop environments. While compost is typically added to media to achieve this goal, we hypothesized that the addition of an anthropogenic pyrogenic carbon (PyC) supplement, instead, would enable better organic and mineral sorption and water retention, resulting in improved physiological performance of C3 species. To test this, we grew a C3 legume species, wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria L R.Br. ex), in control compost-amended media and media amended by PyC on a rooftop in Massachusetts, USA. We found PyC-amended media had greater mean organic and mineral nutrient sorption. We also found 16% greater soil water holding capacity (GWL/ψ g) than control media. In addition, wild indigo photosynthetic intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) was significantly increased by 19% when grown in PyC-amended as compared to control media. We conclude that amending green roof media with PyC provides greater benefits than compost amendments for colonization of a C3 legume, wild indigo. Our results gathered over seven years suggest that PyC from converted waste stream cardboard could be used to improve the rooftop performance of other leguminous species, including agricultural crops.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
One of the most vexing questions in contemporary political philosophy and social theory concerns the framework within which to undertake a normatively well-grounded, empirically attuned critique of capitalist society. This volume takes the debate forward by proposing a new framework that emphasizes the central anthropological significance of work (its role in constituting human subjectivity) as well as the role work has in the formation of social bonds. Drawing on the philosophy of Hegel and the post-Hegelian tradition of critical social theory, special attention is given to the significance of recognition in work, the problems of misrecognition generated in the present culture of capitalism, and the normative resources available for criticising it.