Article published in:Corpus Interrogation and Grammatical Patterns
Edited by Kristin Davidse, Caroline Gentens, Lobke Ghesquière and Lieven Vandelanotte
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 63] 2014
► pp. 151–171
Ma daddy wis dead chuffed
On the dialectal distribution of the intensifier dead in Contemporary English
The present paper aims to shed light on the dialectal distribution of the intensifier dead in four varieties of Present-Day English: American, British, Irish and Scottish English. For this purpose, data are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, the Brigham Young University-British National Corpus, the Irish component of the International Corpus of English and the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech. A collocational analysis of the adverbial and adjectival form dead makes it possible to see whether dead takes a literal reading or is rather used as a grammaticalised intensifier. The paper argues that intensifying dead is most productive in the Irish and Scottish varieties, followed by the British and American dialects.
Published online: 14 November 2014
Barnfield, K & Buchstaller, I.