Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study (Studies by Professor Geoffrey Leech, Marianne Hundt, Christian Mair,

By Professor Geoffrey Leech, Marianne Hundt, Christian Mair, Nicholas Smith

In line with the systematic research of enormous quantities of computer-readable textual content, this e-book exhibits how the English language has been altering within the contemporary previous, usually in unforeseen and formerly undocumented methods. The learn is predicated on a bunch of matching corpora, referred to as the 'Brown kin' of corpora, supplemented by means of various different corpus fabrics, either written and spoken, drawn mostly from the later 20th century. one of the issues receiving specific recognition are the effect of yankee English on British English, the function of the clicking, the 'colloquialization' of written English, and quite a lot of grammatical issues, together with the modal auxiliaries, revolutionary, subjunctive, passive, genitive and relative clauses. those topics construct an total photo of the way English grammar is altering, and the linguistic and social elements which are contributing to this approach.

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Additional info for Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study (Studies in English Language)

Sample text

Mr John Major is acquiring a high profile as a foreign statesman to be turned to [ . . ] In the history of English, not all these forms are of equal age and spread, and there is no reason to assume that historical developments in this fragment of the grammar of English should have come to a halt in the twentieth century. Many interesting questions arise which might well be worth exploring. , Chapter  of the present book and Mair b: –). Or we might look at the statistical or semantic relationships between active and passive infinitives in examples such as (e) and (f) above.

What might have changed, though, are stylistic conventions or expectations of formality. For example, a writer of a sports feature in a newspaper had both options available in the year  as well as in . If a corpus analysis were able to show late twentieth-century sportswriters to favour the informal (a) options more often than their predecessors, it would be an interesting finding – not about the evolution of the grammar of English, but about the evolution of newspaper writing style in a changing market.

Why are YOU getting your knickers in a twist? I mean (they say), this is basically all arbitrary stipulation, the only function of which is to create and maintain consistency in the press’s publications. ) Twice, my aggressive truculence about the That Rule (and a collection of other zombie rules) has prompted editors to cave in to my craziness and let me do whatever I want. Me. Not anyone else, just me, for this one book. They were then baffled that I didn’t view this response as really satisfactory.

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