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Title: A corpus-based investigation of recent change in the use of the progressive in British English
Author: Smith, Nicholas
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2005
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This is a study in the recent historical development of the English progressive construction. My primary aim is to determine how far usage of the progressive in written British English - specifically, printed (published) written prose texts of British English - has evolved in the last few decades of the twentieth century. In addressing this question I employ a corpus-based approach, focussing on two matching corpora of British English spanning the years 1961 to 1991/92. The progressive will be examined in respect of quantitative and qualitative changes over the period, with a focus on parts of the verb paradigm where change has been statistically significant In order to establish the pattern of diachronic development, the use of the progressive in each sampled period will be analysed in respect of a range of formal and functional characteristics and across a number of text types. I investigate some possible explanations for the evolution of the progressive in the late twentieth century. A number of functional and social factors are assessed, and particular attention is given to establishing the extent to which the theories of colloquialization, grammaticalization and language contact account for the development of the construction
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available