Layering, competition and a twist of fate
Deontic modality in dialects of English
This paper examines an area of ongoing change in English — deontic modality — and uses an archive of synchronic dialect data from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to discover new information about its development. History records a cline in this system from must to have to to have got to. By taking a cross-dialectal perspective and utilizing comparative sociolinguistic methods we present a possible reconstruction of the later steps in this process. The results reveal dialectal contrasts in the proportion of older and newer forms, but similar patterns of use. Must is obsolescent and there is an unanticipated resurgence of have to alongside pan-dialectal grammatical reorganization: (1) have to is being used in contexts traditionally encoded by must and (2) have got to is specializing for indefinite reference. Young women are the leading edge in these developments suggesting that systemic adjustments in grammar combine with sociolinguistic influences to advance linguistic change.
Keywords: comparative sociolinguistics, grammaticalization, deontic modality, dialect, language change
Published online: 15 December 2006
Cited by 17 other publications
Blas Arroyo, José Luis
Blas Arroyo, José Luis & Javier Vellón Lahoz
Denis, Derek & Alexandra D’Arcy
FEHRINGER, CAROL & KAREN CORRIGAN
Gardner, Matt Hunt, Eva Uffing, Nicholas Van Vaeck, Benedikt Szmrecsanyi & Stefan Th. Gries
Gong, Mingyu, Winnie Cheng & Le Cheng
Hirano, Keiko & David Britain
Penry Williams, Cara & Minna Korhonen
PICHLER, HEIKE & STEPHEN LEVEY
SCHÜTZLER, OLE & JENNY HERZKY
Tagliamonte, Sali A.
Tagliamonte, Sali A. & R. Harald Baayen
TAGLIAMONTE, SALI A., MERCEDES DURHAM & JENNIFER SMITH
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 08 april 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.