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The present perfect in British and American English: Has there been any change, recently?


Hundt, Marianne; Smith, Nicholas (2009). The present perfect in British and American English: Has there been any change, recently? ICAME Journal, 33:45-63.

Abstract

For past-time reference, Present-Day English has a choice between the present perfect (PP) and the simple past tense (SP). The distinction between SP and PP is a fairly recent development in English. Previous corpus-based studies of Present-Day English have consistently shown that the PP is more commonly used in British than in American English. Evidence from the part-of-speech tagged Brown family of corpora is used to test whether the two varieties have been converging in their use of the PP. The data show that the choice between the PP and the SP is still an example of (relatively) stable regional variation rather than ongoing linguistic change.

For past-time reference, Present-Day English has a choice between the present perfect (PP) and the simple past tense (SP). The distinction between SP and PP is a fairly recent development in English. Previous corpus-based studies of Present-Day English have consistently shown that the PP is more commonly used in British than in American English. Evidence from the part-of-speech tagged Brown family of corpora is used to test whether the two varieties have been converging in their use of the PP. The data show that the choice between the PP and the SP is still an example of (relatively) stable regional variation rather than ongoing linguistic change.

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:April 2009
Deposited On:29 Oct 2009 16:05
Last Modified:08 May 2016 12:31
Publisher:Aksis
ISSN:0801-5775
Official URL:http://icame.uib.no/journal.html

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