Studies in Language Variation, Meaning and Learning
ÁNGELES TOMÉ-ROSALES - ‘[A]dsheartlikins, there’s more persuasive rhetoric in’t’: A Corpus-based Approach to the Expletive Form Adsheartlikins 205
ÁNGELES TOMÉ-ROSALES ‘[A]dsheartlikins, there’s more persuasive rhetoric in’t’: A Corpus-based Approach to the Expletive Form Adsheartlikins 1. Introduction Porto-Prado/Souto-García (2007: 59) contend that the term adshear- tlikins was coined by Aphra Behn and it was not used by other au- thors. Contrary to what these scholars point out, in my opinion it can be asserted that adsheartlikins was not coined by Behn, and that it was used at least by other playwrights. Therefore, I would like to prove that this term results from the lexicalisation of a noun phrase, and that it was a common expletive form in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England. In order to achieve my goal, I will provide a significant number of examples of this expletive form in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century plays which were written not only by Behn but also by other English playwrights. If it is possible to find the expletive form adsheartlikins in plays which were written by other playwrights, it will be obvious that Behn was not the only dramatist who made use of it. Apart from proving that adsheartlikins was also used by other playwrights, I will assemble different instances of this term in order to analyse the development it seems to have undergone throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England. First, I created a corpus formed by those seventeenth- and eighteenth-century plays which contain the expletive forms adshear- tlikins and/or odsbodikins.1 This corpus is formed by the following 1 Originally, the corpus was formed...
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