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Title: Conditional sentences in Early Modern English : a study of grammaticalization
Author: Chen, G.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1996
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The study is based mainly on data from the Early Modern English Section (1500-1710) of the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts. The dissertation consists of six chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the aims, subject, data and methodology of the study. Chapter 2 is a brief survey of the treatment of the conditional sentence in early English grammars. Chapter 3 demonstrates that the grammaticalization of conditional markers is motivated by the need to express either a supposition or a kind of contingency relation between the protasis event and the apodosis event. It identifies the following as the sources of protasis markers in EmodE: (a) suppositional verbs and verb phrases; (b) verb forms and word order that signify or imply hypotheticality; (c) expressions signifying contingency relation; (d) expressions signifying other relations, including temporal, provisory, purposive or resultative, exceptive, and coordinative; (e) expressions of negative substitution. Chapter 4 shows that markers of concessive condition are not fully grammaticalized in EModE. In most cases concessive conditions are expressed either by conditional markers used in a concessive context or by concessive markers used in a hypothetical context. Chapter 5 distinguishes four kinds of hypotheticality -- low, neutral, high, and counterfactual -- and studies the ways in which each kind is encoded in EModE. It reveals a number of constraints on the choice of verb forms in protases with present- or future-time reference and with neutral and low hypotheticality. Chapter 6 postulates that the meaning distinctions in terms of the conditionality and hypotheticality identified in this study are of a universal nature and that the grammaticalization of these meaning distinctions is in the direction of their full and precise expression but is constrained by pragmatic considerations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available