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New trends and methodologies in applied English language research III

Synchronic and diachronic studies on discourse, lexis and grammar processing


Edited By Sofia Bemposta-Rivas, Carla Bouzada-Jabois, Yolanda Fernández-Pena, Tamara Bouso, Yolanda J. Calvo-Benzies and Iván Tamaredo

This volume includes eleven papers pertaining to different areas of linguistics and organised into three sections. Part I contains diachronic studies which cover data from Middle English to Present-Day English and which explore phenomena such as the status of extender tags, the distribution of free adjuncts, post-auxiliary ellipsis, and the use of ‘ephemeral’ concessive adverbial subordinators. Part II comprises studies on grammar and language processing dealing with topics such as the interaction between syntactic and structural complexity and verbal agreement with collective subjects, the influence of distributivity and concreteness on verbal agreement, the interaction of complexity and efficiency in pronoun omission in Indian English and Singapore English, and the methods and approaches used for grammar teaching in modern EFL/ESL textbooks. Finally, Part III revolves around lexis, discourse and pragmatics, with papers that discuss the development of the discoursal representation of social actors in Argentinian newspapers after the military dictatorship, the construction of women’s gender identity through positive and negative emotions in women’s magazines, and spelling-to-sound correspondence on Twitter.

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Ephemerality in concessive subordinators. Evidence from the history of English (Cristina Blanco-García)


← 58 | 59 →

CRISTINA BLANCO-GARCÍA University of Santiago de Compostela –

Ephemerality in concessive subordinators. Evidence from the history of English1

1.  Introduction

The Late Middle English [LME] and Early Modern English [EModE] periods witnessed a number of major linguistic developments. In this context of change and variability, this chapter investigates the notion of ephemerality in the domain of concessive clauses. The concept of ephemerality in adverbial subordination was raised by Kortmann (1997: 301), who defines as ephemeral those connectives which originate in the LME and EModE periods and did not survive much beyond that time or became restricted in use in later stages.

Although Kortmann (1997) has shown the major tendencies in the development of adverbial subordinators in English based on a “grammar-cum-dictionary-method” (Kortmann 1997: 53), to my knowledge no studies have concentrated on the origin and development of the cat­egory of ephemeral adverbial subordinators as such. Having as a starting point the list of subordinators provided by Kortmann, supplemented by that of Visser (1963–1973), this paper is intended as a contribution to the literature on adverbial subordinators in the history of English by focusing on six ephemeral subordinators within the domain of concessive ← 59 | 60 → adverbial relations: how well, albeit, howbeit, how(so/some)ever, and how so and notwithstanding. The study focuses on the following issues: (i) the patterns of distribution of the six selected subordinators across time with regard to their frequency; (ii) their...

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