Reference : Comparative modals (Dis)similar diachronic tendencies
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/210935
Comparative modals (Dis)similar diachronic tendencies
-
Van linden, An mailto [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - KUL > > > >]
2015
Functions of Language
John Benjamins Publishing Co
22
2
192-231
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
0929-998X
Amsterdam
Netherlands
[en] This article examines modal expressions with the comparative adverbs better, rather and sooner in American English, and assesses to what extent they have grammaticalized. The corpus data offer evidence that the three comparative modal groups exhibit considerable phonetic reduction in the 1810-2009 period studied. Analysis of several aspects of the constructions, such as subject types, temporal reference and comparative meaning, reveals which conditions promoted this erosion. However, the data also indicate that the three groups are semantically and constructionally quite heterogeneous. In fact, this article proposes a grammaticalization scenario for the rather and sooner structures that is different from the one posited for the better structures.
FWO - Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen ; Research Council of the University of Leuven [GOA/12/007]
1.2.767.11.N.00
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/210935
10.1075/fol.22.2.02lin
The research reported on in this article has been made possible by the Research Foundation Flanders - FWO (postdoctoral grant 1.2.767.11.N.00) and the Research Council of the University of Leuven (project GOA/12/007). I thank Kristin Davidse and Jean-Christophe Verstraete as well as two anonymous referees of Functions of Language and editor Geoffrey Thompson for useful comments on an earlier version of this article.

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