Chapter published in:Late Modern English: Novel encounters
Edited by Merja Kytö and Erik Smitterberg
[Studies in Language Companion Series 214] 2020
► pp. 118–142
Diffusion of do
The acquisition of do negation by have (to)
This paper gives a diachronic perspective on do-support of the semi-modal have to under negation. Corpus evidence demonstrates that do negation was regulated with have to around the 1870s in American English and around the 1930s in British English. To elucidate the development of have to towards do negation, Krug (2000) invokes two usage-based factors (analogical leveling and chunking); this paper argues, however, that they do not adequately account for the present findings. The current study instead provides the constructionist approach in which language users are hypothesized to have a form-driven abstraction over have to and the main verb have, and proposes that the abstraction played a key role in the change in question.
Published online: 18 March 2020
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