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Sociolinguistic patterns in grammaticalisation: he, they, and those in human indefinite reference
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Language and Literature. (Engelska)
2008 (English)In: Language Variation and Change, ISSN 0954-3945, E-ISSN 1469-8021, Vol. 20, no 1, 155-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sociolinguistic patterns in language change are largely based on generalizations from linguistic variables consisting of lexemes or morphemes. This article takes a diachronic, corpus-based approach to the diffusion of a change in a more extensive morphosemantic function consisting of several linguistic subsystems. It focuses on the pronoun variants he, they, and those used for human indefiniteness in two contexts: (a) epicene anaphoric uses with indefinite pronouns and (b) cataphoric personal references. The quantitative corpus analyses show that the pronoun selection in Early and Late Modern English developed a greater tendency to use one pronoun type over the other in both contexts. The main data come from the Corpus of Early English Correspondence and its Extension. Statistical analyses compare the observed correlations of the pronouns with a set of social, external variables and language-internal factors. This article concludes that it is possible to establish sociolinguistic patterns in larger shifts if we account for the closely related internal developments in the language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Vol. 20, no 1, 155-185 p.
Keyword [en]
Grammaticalization
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Humanities, English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-23465DOI: 10.1017/S0954394508000045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-23465DiVA: diva2:588103
Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Laitinen, Mikko

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf