Title
Why is there a present-day English absolute? Why is there a present-day English absolute?
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Publication type
article
Publication
Amsterdam ,
Subject
Linguistics
Source (journal)
Studies in language. - Amsterdam
Volume/pages
39(2015) :1 , p. 199-229
ISSN
0378-4177
ISI
000358275700007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
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.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/bb277c/128670.pdf
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/d38aed/128670_2016_07_01.pdf
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