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Title: Grammaticalization of the progressive form in English
Author: Hancil, Sylvie M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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The purpose of this thesis is to provide an account of the grammaticalization of the progressive form be +-ing in English, namely a study of the way the construction has been integrated into the grammatical system of English, both synchronically and diachronically. The first two chapters are essentially descriptive and set up the terminological background that will be used in the later chapters. Chapter 1 outlines a brief history of grammaticalization, with its various traditions, followed by a presentation of the main characteristics of semantic changes in grammaticalization. Chapter 2 offers a discussion of the perfective and the imperfective aspects, the terminology of which has brought about many misconceptions and mistakes when applied to non-Slavic languages, especially English. The next four chapters propose a synchronic and diachronic study of the progressive form. Chapter 3 presents a semantic and formal analysis of the progressive form in Modern English. Chapter 4 focuses on the origins of the construction and tries to identify the seeds of a semantic interpretation of the latter in Old English, based on the examination of a few texts in Old English narrative prose. Chapter 5 describes and analyzes the development of the progressive form over the last five centuries in private letters, the results of this investigation being reinterpreted in Chapter 6 in the theoretical framework of the French linguist Culioli, who developed in the sixties a more elaborated version of the theory of enunciation of Benveniste.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available