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Same time, across time: simultaneity clauses from late modern to present-day english

Broccias, C and Smith, N 2010, 'Same time, across time: simultaneity clauses from late modern to present-day english' , English Language and Linguistics, 14 (3) , pp. 347-371.

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    Abstract

    In this paper we offer a diachronic analysis of simultaneity subordinator as against the background of simultaneity subordinators while, whilst, when from 1650 to the end of the 20th century. The present survey makes use of data extracted from the British English component of ARCHER (version 3.1), focusing in particular on fiction, the register par excellence for the use of simultaneity subordinators. We analyse our data according to a selection of parameters (ordering, verb type, duration, tense and aspect, subject identity, simultaneity type) and show that, against a background of relatively stability, the major change is a dramatic increase in the frequency of simultaneity as-clauses from the first half of the 19th century onwards. Adapting the historical work on stylistic change by Biber and Finegan (1989, 1997), as well as theoretical and experimental accounts of the semantics of English simultaneity markers, we highlight an interesting parallelism between the spread of as-clauses in oral narrative from childhood to adulthood and the spread of as-clauses in modern fiction. In either case, the spread of as may be symptomatic of an evolution in narrative techniques, particularly in respect of the means by which complex events are typically represented.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: corpus-based, historical, simultaneity, linguistics
    Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
    Memory, Text and Place
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for English Literature and Language
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
    Journal or Publication Title: English Language and Linguistics
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 1360-6743
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: NI Smith
    Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2011 11:01
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:01
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/16798

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