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Cambridge University Press
Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study

Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study

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Based on the systematic analysis of large amounts of computer-readable text, this book shows how the English language has been changing in the recent past, often in unexpected and previously undocumented ways. The study is based on a group of matching corpora, known as the 'Brown family' of corpora, supplemented by a range of other corpus materials, both written and spoken, drawn mainly from the later twentieth century. Among the matters receiving particular attention are the influence of American English on British English, the role of the press, the 'colloquialization' of written English, and a wide range of grammatical topics, including the modal auxiliaries, progressive, subjunctive, passive, genitive and relative clauses. These subjects build an overall picture of how English grammar is changing, and the linguistic and social factors that are contributing to this process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521867221
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2009
Series: Studies in English Language Series
Pages: 370
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Geoffrey Leech is Emeritus Professor of English Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University.

Marianne Hundt is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Zürich.

Christian Mair is Professor of English Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Freiburg.

Nicholas Smith is Lecturer in the School of English, Sociology, Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Salford.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: grammar-blindness in the recent history of English?; 2. Comparative corpus linguistics: the methodological basis of this book; 3. The subjunctive mood; 4. The modal auxiliaries; 5. The so-called semi-modals; 6. The progressive; 7. The passive voice; 8. Expanded predicates; 9. Non-finite clauses; 10. The noun phrase; 11. Linguistic and other determinants of change.

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