Article published in:Corpus Perspectives on Patterns of Lexis
Edited by Hilde Hasselgård, Jarle Ebeling and Signe Oksefjell Ebeling
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 57] 2013
► pp. 71–90
The competition between the intensifiers dead and deadly
Some diachronic considerations
The present paper aims at shedding light on the diachronic evolution of two death-related intensifiers, dead and deadly, showing their subjectification and grammaticalisation over time. Data from the Middle English Dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, and three electronic databases (Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Fiction, and Online Books Page) are used to carry out a collocational analysis of both adverbial forms. A detailed study of the collocations of dead and deadly reveals different contexts of variation between the zero and the -ly counterparts. The paper additionally argues that these contexts of variation are not always random, and in certain cases owe to semantic considerations, while other occurrences of dead and deadly seem to point towards highly fossilised uses.
Published online: 27 June 2013
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