Why very good in India might be pretty good in North America
Amplifier-adjective 2-grams in Global Englishes
Situated at the interface of several sub-disciplines (corpus linguistics, World Englishes, variationist sociolinguistics), this study investigates patterns of adjectival amplification (very good, so glad, pretty cool) in the Corpus of Global Web-Based English (GloWbE). It highlights regional distributions/preferences of amplifier-adjective 2-grams and the idiosyncratic status of certain bigrams according to their frequency status. Globally, clear regional preferences in amplification patterns as well as possible trends concerning change are identified. Regionally, L1 varieties contrast starkly with some regions (Africa, Indian subcontinent) but – maybe unexpectedly – not with others (Southeast Asia). The results offer insights into current trajectories of change concerning the investigated amplifiers in certain regions and 2-grams: North American varieties are leading a trend away from very towards so and possibly pretty in the future.
Keywords: amplifiers/intensifiers, 2-grams/bigrams, World Englishes/English world-wide, GloWbE
Published online: 01 November 2019
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