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Why DO dove: Evidence for register variation in Early Modern English negatives

Warner, A. (2005) Why DO dove: Evidence for register variation in Early Modern English negatives. Language Variation and Change. pp. 257-280. ISSN 1469-8021

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Abstract

The development of “supportive” (or “periphrastic”) DO in English suffered a curious and sharp reversal late in the 16th century in negative declaratives and questions according to Ellegård's (1953) database, with a recovery late in the following century. This article examines the variation between DO and the full verb in negative declaratives in this database, from 1500 to 1710. It is shown that both register variation and age-grading are relevant, and that the periods 1500–1575 and 1600–1710 have radically distinct properties. The second period shows substantial age-grading, and is interpreted as having introduced a fresh evaluative principle governing register variation. Negative questions supply data that suggest that the development of clitic negation may have been implicated in the development of the new evaluation. This change in evaluation accounts for the apparent reversal in the development of DO, and we can abandon the view that it was a consequence of grammatical restructuring.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2005 Cambridge University Press. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Academic Units: The University of York > Language and Linguistic Science (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2008 17:34
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 14:21
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954394505050106
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3938

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