Chapter published in:Developments in English Historical Morpho-Syntax
Edited by Claudia Claridge and Birte Bös
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 346] 2019
► pp. 269–285
Further explorations in the grammar of intensifier marking in Modern English
Picking up on earlier analyses, this paper explores a number of further issues bearing on the replacement of unmarked intensifiers by suffixed ones. While the evolutions of individual intensifiers may vary enormously, almost all grammatical constraints on intensifier marking can be accounted for in terms of a verbality cline: Structures displaying a high degree of verbality promote the establishment of suffixed intensifiers whereas less verbal structures tend to delay the process. The major findings supporting this generalization include the following:
- Past participles, which virtually always function as predicatives, represent one of the earliest categories to implement the change. In this respect, they contrast with present participles, which tend to behave like ordinary adjectives.
- Compared with predicative adjectives, attributive adjectives have been slow to replace unmarked intensifiers by suffixed ones.
- The establishment of the suffix is further advanced with complemented (non-attributive) adjectives than uncomplemented ones.
Keywords: unmarked/suffixed intensifiers, verbality, grammatical constraints, predicative/attributive/complemented adjectives, past/present participles, predicatively used prepositional phrases
Published online: 27 May 2019
Hawkins, John A.
Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey, & Svartvik, Jan
Vosberg, Uwe & Rohdenburg, Günter
The Rivalry between far from being + Predicative Item and its Counterpart Omitting the Copula in Modern English. In this volume.
BNC British National Corpus
First part of the ECT containing only those authors born in the 17th century (5,130,162 words)
EEPF Early English Prose Fiction
First part of the NCF containing only those authors born in the 18th century (11,373,834 words)
OED The Oxford English Dictionary
Second Edition) on CD-ROM 1992 (Version 1.10) Edited by John A. Simpson & Edmund S. C. Weiner Oxford Oxford University Press
wridom1 imaginative component of the BNC
= narrative fiction). (18,863,529 words)
Cited by 1 other publications
Vosberg, Uwe & Günter Rohdenburg
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