Intensifiers on Tyneside
Longitudinal developments and new trends
We report on longitudinal changes in the system of intensification in an innovative corpus that spans five decades of dialectal speech. Our analyses allow us — for the first time in a British context — to trace the quantitative development in the variable across four generations. Longitudinal analysis across real and apparent time determines the effect of extralinguistic and intralinguistic variables on intensification in Tyneside and tests to what extent real time data corroborates trends reported from previous apparent time analyses. Long-term competition within the variable manifests itself in distinctive developmental trajectories: expansion — both proportionally within the variable as well as across adjectival categories — tends to follow one of three types of patterns, exemplified, respectively, by really, so and dead. Variant retraction, however, follows only one schema. Importantly, numerical decline in the system does not necessarily go hand in hand with a reduction in breadth of application.
Keywords: intensification, longitudinal, Tyneside, recycling, diachronic
Published online: 11 October 2010
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