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It is time that this (should) be studied across a broader range of Englishes: a global trip around mandative subjunctives


Hundt, Marianne (2018). It is time that this (should) be studied across a broader range of Englishes: a global trip around mandative subjunctives. In: Deshors, Sandra C. Modeling World Englishes. Assessing the interplay of emancipation and globalization of ESL varieties. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 217-244.

Abstract

English has a choice between modal verb should and a subjunctive in subordinate clauses following mandative expressions such as recommend, request or require. Previous research found that the subjunctive has seen a revival in the twentieth-century in a change led by American English with British English and settler varieties lagging behind. Studies of the subjunctive in second-language varieties of English (ESL) are scarce, and typically look at only one ESL variety, comparing its text frequency with that observed in first language varieties. Previous research also looked at the distribution of subjunctives across spoken and written registers, their co-occurrence with active and passive voice, and/or with individual triggers, but these factors have not yet been studied as predictor variables for the choice between a subjunctive and a modal construction. On the basis of the International Corpus of English, this paper investigates the choice between mandative subjunctives and modal periphrastic constructions with should across a broad range of World Englishes with a view to modelling the relative strength of external predictor variables such as ‘variety’ and ‘medium/register’ as well as internal factors like ‘lexical trigger’ and ‘verb’. It uses evidence from the Global Web-based English corpus for a follow-up study on the importance of ‘lexical trigger’ on a subset of the varieties, since ICE corpora are two small to provide robust evidence on this. The findings do not lend themselves to straightforward interpretation within an individual model of World Englishes.

Abstract

English has a choice between modal verb should and a subjunctive in subordinate clauses following mandative expressions such as recommend, request or require. Previous research found that the subjunctive has seen a revival in the twentieth-century in a change led by American English with British English and settler varieties lagging behind. Studies of the subjunctive in second-language varieties of English (ESL) are scarce, and typically look at only one ESL variety, comparing its text frequency with that observed in first language varieties. Previous research also looked at the distribution of subjunctives across spoken and written registers, their co-occurrence with active and passive voice, and/or with individual triggers, but these factors have not yet been studied as predictor variables for the choice between a subjunctive and a modal construction. On the basis of the International Corpus of English, this paper investigates the choice between mandative subjunctives and modal periphrastic constructions with should across a broad range of World Englishes with a view to modelling the relative strength of external predictor variables such as ‘variety’ and ‘medium/register’ as well as internal factors like ‘lexical trigger’ and ‘verb’. It uses evidence from the Global Web-based English corpus for a follow-up study on the importance of ‘lexical trigger’ on a subset of the varieties, since ICE corpora are two small to provide robust evidence on this. The findings do not lend themselves to straightforward interpretation within an individual model of World Englishes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Linguistics
08 Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:October 2018
Deposited On:16 May 2018 15:00
Last Modified:22 Jun 2018 10:34
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
Series Name:Varieties of English Around the World
Number:G61
ISSN:0172-7362
ISBN:9789027263704
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:https://benjamins.com/catalog/veaw.g61 (Publisher)

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