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Full-verb Inversion in Written and Spoken English

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José Carlos Prado Alonso

This book presents a comprehensive corpus-based analysis of full-verb inversion in present-day English. The author examines the distribution and pragmatic functions of full-verb inversion in different fictional and non-fictional text styles as well as in the spoken language. Surprisingly enough, inversion in oral communication has not yet received the attention it deserves, since most work on the topic has been restricted to the written language. It has often been claimed that full-verb inversion occurs mainly in written discourse, but these claims have not yet been backed up by a detailed corpus-based analysis. This book provides a more conclusive picture of the distribution of full inversion in speech and writing and analyses the distinct pragmatic functions that the construction serves in these two modes of communication.

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Acknowledgements - 11

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11 Acknowledgements In undertaking research of this nature, one naturally seeks out the intellectual and personal support of a great many people, perhaps more people than it would be possible to mention. Nevertheless, I will attempt here to express my gratitude to most of them. Firstly, I would like to thank Teresa Fanego and Carlos Acuña. This book has benefited from their keen intellectual judgement and from their advice in numerous ways. Other scholars who helped me out and whom I feel very grateful to are Betty Birner and Gregory Ward, and especially Rolf Kreyer who was kind enough to allow me access to his (then) unpublished work. Likewise, I feel greatly in- debted to Christopher Butler, Antonio Barcelona, Javier Pérez-Guerra, Liesbet Heyvaert and Cristina Suárez-Gómez, who greatly inspired my work through stimulating discussions and comments on earlier versions of this book. The research reported here is part of a larger project – Varia- tion, Linguistic Change, and Grammaticalisation – sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and European Regional Development Fund (grant no. HUM2007-60706/FILO), the Autono- mous Government of Galicia (Directorate General of Scientific and Technological Promotion, grant no. 2006/14-0; Directorate General for Research, Development and Innovation, INCITE grant no. 08PXIB204016PR), and the European Regional Development Fund. The support of these institutions, as well as the positive feedback of the members of the research group throughout the course of this in- vestigation, is hereby also gratefully acknowledged. None of this would have been possible without...

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