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The progressive in 19th-century English

A process of integration

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Erik Smitterberg

The present volume is an empirical, corpus-based study of the progressive in 19th-century English. As the 1800s have been relatively neglected in previous research, and as the study is based on a new cross-genre corpus focusing on this period (CONCE = A Corpus of Nineteenth-Century English), the volume adds significantly to our knowledge of the historical development of the progressive. The use of two separate measures enables an accurate account of the frequency development of the progressive, which is also related to multi-feature/multi-dimensional analyses. Other topics covered include the complexity of progressive verb phrases and the distribution of the construction across linguistic parameters such as clause type. Special attention is paid to progressives that express something beyond purely aspectual meaning. The results show that the progressive became more fully integrated into English grammar over the 19th century, but also that linguistic and extralinguistic parameters affected this integration process; for instance, the construction was more common in women’s than in men’s private letters. Owing to the wide methodological scope of the study, it is of interest to linguists specializing in corpus linguistics, language variation and change, verbal syntax, the progressive, or the linguistic expression of aspect, either in synchrony or diachrony.

Series:

Beke Hansen

and global characteristics of the competition between must and have to in Sections 9.2 and 9.3. First, I will take a closer look at the local characteristics of the alternation in spoken hke , IndE, and BrE, when I analyse the effects of age, gender of the speaker, text type, and type of subject

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Beke Hansen

, ice - hk , ice - ind *, and ice - sin and classified these tokens according to (up to) 12 independent variables. 4.3.1 Coding the Independent Variables I coded the variants according to the language-internal factors: (1) function of the modal verb, (2) reference of the preceding subject, (3

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Beke Hansen

twenty-five ( ice - ind *:S2A-032) In terms of syntactic features, we can find a co-occurrence of epistemic must with i) the perfect (cf. (6)), ii) the progressive aspect, iii) existential subjects, iv) stative verbs (cf. (5), (7), (8)), and v) inanimate subjects (cf. (5) and (8)) (cf. Coates 1983

Series:

Beke Hansen

neglected in research so far. With regard to language-internal predictors, it was shown that IndE demonstrates a preference for must after non-generic subjects in the second person (i.e. you must ). This finding stands in stark contrast to the subject selection of must in other varieties of English

Linguistics and Archaeology in the Americas

The Historization of Language and Society

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Edited by Eithne B. Carlin and Simon van de Kerke

The contributors to this volume, an international group of leading specialists, guide us through different aspects of the study of Amerindian languages and societies that lie at the heart of the extensive and multi-facetted work of Willem Adelaar, the forerunning specialist in Native American studies of Meso and South America, and Professor of Amerindian Studies at Leiden University. The contributors focus on three larger regions, the Andes, Amazonia, Meso-America and the Circum-Caribbean region, giving us a state of the art overview of current linguistic and archaeological research trends that illuminate the dynamicity and historicity of the Americas, in migratory movements, contact situations, grouping and re-grouping of identities and the linguistic results thereof. This book is a must-have for all scholars of the American continent.

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Beke Hansen

have to on the territory of must and a specialisation of have got to to contexts with subjects of indefinite reference (cf. Tagliamonte & Smith 2006 , 341). Apart from the analysis of British dialect data, Tagliamonte also investigates the domain of obligation and necessity in Toronto English

Series:

Beke Hansen

identity (cf. Schneider 2007 , 37). With regard to linguistic norms, the external standard of the stl strand serves as reference point but as emphasis is placed on the facilitation of interethnic communication at this stage, issues of correctness are rarely a subject of debate (cf. Schneider 2007 , 38

Series:

Beke Hansen

semi-modal verbs may be used to code the grammatical person of the pronoun subjects. Extraction of words in R1 or R2 position as well as a combination of search strings such as must have been or must be + V- ing may be employed to extract the main verbs, whose forms may be lemmatised afterwards

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Beke Hansen

., while IndE speakers prefer pelt sth. at so . as a construction. In other words, BrE speakers more often select the construction that foregrounds the subject; IndE speakers more frequently choose the construction that foregrounds the object. They link this to possible differences in the construction of