Late Modern English Syntax

Late Modern English Syntax
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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Late Modern period is the first in the history of English for which an unprecedented wealth of textual material exists. Using increasingly sophisticated databases, the contributions in this volume explore grammatical usage from the period, specifically morphological and syntactic change, in a broad context.

Some chapters explore the socio-historical background of the p The Late Modern period is the first in the history of English for which an unprecedented wealth of textual material exists. Some chapters explore the socio-historical background of the period while others provide information on prescriptivism, newspaper language, language contact, and regional variation in British and American English. Internal processes of change are discussed against grammaticalisation theory and construction grammar and the rich body of textual evidence is used to draw inferences on the precise nature of historical change.

Exposing readers to a wealth of data that informs the description of a broad range of syntactic phenomena, this book is ideal for graduate students and researchers interested in historical linguistics, corpus linguistics and language development. Get A Copy. More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Late Modern English Syntax , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Late Modern English Syntax. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

Community Reviews. Showing Whatever the reasons, Wright's achievement has often been treated unfairly: it has either been ignored, or otherwise downranked, for exuding too much romanticism, patriotism [4] and - as regards the linguistic method - positivism or traditionalism. However, as McArthur said, "without the mass of data which traditional dialectologists have furnished, theoretical systems could not have been either proposed or refined".

Moreover, the 'item-centered' method of traditional dialectology [5] loses some of its horror if the detailed items are made transparent by machine-readability and visualised on the monitor rather than in black and white on paper. The second asset of Wright's Dictionary is its contribution to the history of spoken Late Modern English. Although the international phonetic transcription, first officially released in , was not yet in common use, Wright was very consistent in applying a similar system of transcription, thus giving valid phonetic information.

But this is not the only aspect of what the EDD provides. The phonetics of dialect words allows us, of course, to see all kinds of phonological processes at work: assimilation and dissimilation, syncope and aphaeresis, cluster reduction and epenthesis. Moreover, the inclusion of phrases and idioms promises to provide new information on collocational sound patterns, colloquialisms, patterns of repetition and deviation as typical of the spoken language.

The research on spoken historical English is naturally scanty. While we all know that the spelling and pronunciation of English words have increasingly diverged since Caxton's introduction of printing, historical English linguistics has too one-sidedly relied on the written language. Wright's EDD could also help to remedy the relatively deficient situation of research on other aspects of Late Modern English, from morphology to pragmatics, but above all to lexicology.

This is obvious in view of the large amount of material that the EDD offers: more than 60, lemmata.

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Moreover, the value of the dictionary is increased by the high quality of the entries. The EDD was compiled in the same spirit as the OED , which had been started a few decades earlier, and the complexity and substantiality of the entries are equally impressive. It is, therefore, high time for historical corpus linguists to exploit Wright's magnum opus. But how and to what extent can this be done?

These are two fairly short entries of the EDD selected at random asteep and asteer :. These two entries demonstrate nicely the three main paragraphs that most of the entries consist of.

After the capitalised lemma, we first get the main information: word class, dialect area, usage in the form of labels, such as obsol. In shorter entries of monosemous words, the meaning simply follows in the paragraph started by the headword; meaning is often given in the form of a phrasal example.

After that there is the block of citations with the sources, and then some additional information "comments" , marked by brackets.

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Cambridge Core - English Literature - Late Modern English 1 - Introduction: Late Modern English syntax in its linguistic and socio-historical context. PDF | On Jul 1, , B Aarts and others published Late modern English syntax.

Since the brackets of the phonetic transcription are a reliable formal indicator, we have defined the first five parameters of the entries, up to the transcription, as the "head" and the remaining three ones as the "body" of the entries. Head lemma, or headword part of speech, such as v. In this optimism we are supported by the fact that the fields are marked either lexically or by format. For example, there is a large but limited number of usage labels, normally in abbreviation, such as obs.

The retrieval routines will, we hope, be such that the electronic version of the Dictionary , as in the case of the OED , will allow many more types of questions than the user of the paper version could ever dare to ask. For example, the headwords will be equipped with a morphological boundary marker so that queries for morphemes such as the dialectally productive suffix - hood , as in barley-hood , billyhood , [8] French-hood will later be possible.

The label provided immediately after the headword frequently refers to the word class sb.

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There is no need to discuss all the different markers that could be traced in this position. A few examples of the various grammatical domains will do to demonstrate the fact that Wright did not keep them apart cf. Tables 1 to 3. Tables 1 to 3 illustrate our aim to grasp the information contained in the EDD not only in terms of strings, i. Whenever markers affect different grammatical domains, as in the case of the examples in Table 4, this is taken into account in our correlation of these markers with the domains:.

While Wright had obviously formal grammatical features in mind here, the next field or slot "labels" provides information on a word's semantics or pragmatics. Here is a small selection of the two types:. While labels like these, some altogether, are sometimes difficult to attribute to either semantics or pragmatics, so that manual revision will be necessary, the segmentation and classification will later allow the tracing of semantic word fields as well as pragmatic patterns.

In view of the limited work that has been done in Late Modern English pragmatics, the odd labels of pragmatic relevance found in the EDD so far seem very promising. Since Wright's EDD has focussed on dialect geography, the retrieval of dialectal attribution will no doubt be the dominant routine of later work with the Dictionary. The information provided by Wright within this domain comes in three different shapes: first, dialects are referred to in terms of counties, mostly in the three-letter form of what is now generally called the Chapman County Code.

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Secondly, reference is often made, again in the form of abbreviations, to larger areas, such as England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the North of England , Scotland's South, etc. And thirdly, a considerable amount of information on the dialectal distribution of words is provided in uncoded, sometimes fuzzy terms, such as shown in Table Such circumlocutionary information, lest it be classified as totally useless and irrelevant, will be subject to a clarifying re-phrasing along the lines of the other, more precise and coded types of dialectal reference.

The logic behind this notation is that there may be references to an entire region or only a part of it. Moreover, the explicit exclusion of certain areas "in Scotland, but not in the Highlands" inclined us to use a third option in addition to total and partial , namely not. The team members working on the Innsbruck project have not yet fully solved the problems just referred to, but we are confident that a large amount of dialectal information can be elicited from re-definitions of any fuzzy reference in line with given or newly defined codes.

Newly-defined codes - beyond the three-letter codes that Wright has used already - would be needed in view of the occasional reference to larger areas of a local, national or continental dimension Australia. This is the second problem that Wright's dialectal references confront us with. The first step towards solving this problem is terminological clarity. The second step is to keep historical and present-day names clearly apart. As regards the counties, since we are only concerned with the historical British and Irish counties and their names as they existed before the reforms from the s to s, we will use a self-made historical map of English counties, such as Map A comparison of this map with maps of the present administrative partitions has shown considerable discrepancy.

What makes things more complicated from a historical point of view is the fact that some of these names refer to so-called county boroughs, others to "metropolitan districts" or "metropolitan counties" M ; Greater London falls into a large number of so-called London Boroughs, and many towns and cities are "unitary authorities".

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A clearly historical approach also seems advisable in view of the fact that dialects and their attribution to counties and regions have changed considerably over the last century, particularly in favour of sociolinguistic parameters - so much so that some scholars tend to question the value of traditional dialect atlases altogether.

However, works on dialect geography such as the Linguistic Atlas of England were written nevertheless by Orton, Sanderson and Widdowson , and all more recent dialectologists had to come to terms with the problem of fuzzy edges in dialect attribution. At the moment we are working on the implementation of a retrieval routine based on the correlation of regions and their counties.

A query for, say, Northern words or features will activate all information on northern counties available in the EDD. Aware that Wright's 5,page Dictionary has gaps and - unavoidably - mistakes, the team members of the project SPEED are hopeful that the electronic version will allow welcome access to an enormous amount of dialectal historical material. We have outsourced the implementation of the query routines to programmers, who are already working with us on the mode of combined retrievals of morphemes, parts of speech, usage labels, and other features.

Given the poor state of diachronic Late Modern English dialectology, the English Dialect Dictionary , once available on the Web, will represent the state of the art for this branch of historical English linguistics. My Innsbruck team and myself hope that the international community of researchers will accept the new platform as their own and start thinking about the many philological questions that can be raised once the platform can be accessed.

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It is worth noting here that the author mixes his examples only examples1, 2 and 5 are examples of the b e -perfect , and that he neither provides a definition beyond the heading improper passive forms , nor does he give any indications of how to correct the forms. This may be a trivial observation, but what is not trivial is the very high proportion of the modern-vernacular variant which occurs in precisely this context, as is illustrated in Table4. Dickinson, W. Thus, writing at roughly the same time as Allen and Cornwell, Wells is generally critical, but admits the b e -perfect. In order to shed more light on the lets dont construction, particularly its development in AmE and the verbs used, data from COHA was investigated. This book is written for students of English who are interested in the history of the language and would like to read an accessible but also comprehensive and reasonably detailed introduction. Fisk

This may be reckoned with for the first half of As I prepare this paper for publication November , a beta version of the EDD , used for correction, is already available. Barnes , Dickinson and Prevost , and Long Romaine , , about the Romantic and nationalist motivations. Francis , for a detailed theoretical discussion; also Viereck and Ramisch Colin Chapman in the early s cf.

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Chapman It is surprising that Wright anticipated this coding system. North , and 'nations', such as the USA, but since reference to countries or nations as a whole is extremely rare, we preferred to merge the two levels after all. Trudgill Bailey, Richard W. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Barnes, William.