Chapter published in:Late Modern English: Novel encounters
Edited by Merja Kytö and Erik Smitterberg
[Studies in Language Companion Series 214] 2020
► pp. 204–218
Women writers in the 18th century
The semantics of motion in their choice of perfect auxiliaries
The present study analyses perfect auxiliaries combined with a set of verbs that semantically encode an idea of motion, either physical or metaphorical (arrived, become, come, departed, entered, fallen, gone, got, grown, passed, returned and run) in a corpus of eight novels written by four women in the 18th century, Burney, Inchbald, Radcliffe and Wollstonecraft. The focus is on whether the semantics of the components of motion situations conditioned their choice of auxiliary, and on whether there are differences within the texts depending on where the perfect structures appear, in the narration or in the dialogue. The conclusion indicates that the semantics of motion situations, particularly the different types of figure and ground, may have conditioned their choices.
Published online: 18 March 2020
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