Chapter published in:Processes of Change: Studies in Late Modern and Present-Day English
Edited by Sandra Jansen and Lucia Siebers
[Studies in Language Variation 21] 2019
► pp. 49–72
A (great) deal of: Developments in 19th-century British and Australian English
All variants of the form a x deal of are investigated across nineteenth-century English in south-eastern England and in Australia. Determiner uses dominate followed by adverbial uses with verbs and pronominal uses coming last. The great majority of items found include an adjective, almost invariably good or great, thus confirming the routinized nature of the larger phrase. Regarding the two semantic functions of deal, quantification is more common overall, but while this also predominates in England, Australia prefers degree readings and thus a more strongly grammaticalized form. Stylistically, deal-phrases show a preference for involved contexts and to a lesser extent also towards oral contexts. Australian English uses the form to a greater extent, perhaps indicating greater colloquiality, and additionally often shows rising use.
Keywords: quantifier, intensifier, degree, determiner, adverbial, grammaticalization, Late Modern English, variation, routinization, stylistics
Published online: 13 August 2019
Primary data sources
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Cited by 1 other publications
No author info given
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 21 october 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.