Publication
Title
Why is there a present-day English absolute?
Author
Abstract
This paper examines the divergent evolutions of the Absolute Construction (AC) in the history of the Germanic languages, with a focus on English and Dutch, and provides an explanation of why only the English AC retained its frequency and productivity rate. Three language-internal factors are appealed to in order to account for this divergence: (i) increased with-augmentation of ACs results in fuzzy boundaries with the more frequently used gerunds as well as (regular) prepositional postmodifying constructions; (ii) the overall higher frequency in English of constructions with -ing-forms (gerunds, free adjuncts, and progressives) invites structural priming; and (iii) a possible typological shift of English from strictly bounded construal to a mixture of bounded and unbounded construal. An additional language-external factor is found in different prescriptivist traditions. English never really opposed the use of ACs whereas prescriptivism in other Germanic languages emphatically did.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Studies in language. - Amsterdam
Publication
Amsterdam : 2015
ISSN
0378-4177
Volume/pages
39:1(2015), p. 199-229
ISI
000358275700007
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 13.11.2015
Last edited 07.07.2017