Article published in:Grammatical Change in English World-Wide
Edited by Peter Collins
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 67] 2015
► pp. 43–64
At the crossroads of change
Possession, periphrasis, and prescriptivism in Victoria English
British and Southern hemisphere varieties of English have been shifting towards have got for stative possession, but North American varieties favour have. At the same time, have is implicated in a critical transatlantic divide, requiring do-support and resisting contraction in North America. Drawing on newspaper data from Victoria, Canada, this chapter examines possession from 1858–1935, overlapping the window during which have got began to diffuse markedly in British varieties. Have got is concentrated in these materials in negatives and interrogatives, conflict sites for do-support. This raises the question of what happens when two changes collide, and suggests that the North American preference for have may have been driven by the participation of stative have in the shift to do periphrasis. Keywords. Victoria English; Canadian English; stative possession; periphrasis; do-support; negation
Published online: 24 February 2015
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