Article published in:Corpus Approaches to Grammaticalization in English
Edited by Hans Lindquist and Christian Mair
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 13] 2004
► pp. 33–55
Have to, gotta, must?
Grammaticalisation, variation and specialization in English deontic modality
Quantitative analysis of forms used to express obligation/necessity in a variety of northern British English reveal that must is decreasing across generations. Instead of a marked increase in got to and gotta as reported for southern varieties of British English, these forms are used very little. Instead, there is stable variability between have to and have got to. Multivariate analysis of internal and external factors contributing to the different forms demonstrates that have got to is favoured for generic statements, while have to is favoured for stative, personal statements. However, there is no significant effect of age or sex. It is suggested that have to and have got to both remain vigorous in this variety due to specialization of their respective functions.
Published online: 22 June 2004
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