Dictionary- and corpus-based research in historical linguistics: Alejandro Alcaraz-Sintes
Dictionary- and corpus-based research in historical linguistics1
Research on historical linguistics conducted with corpora has for quite some time now come to be accepted as the most reliable type of research, not only to confirm or hypothesize on patterns and causes of linguistic change, but also to test different theoretical models applied to the study of specific grammatical issues and to perform accurate descriptions of language features in or through past synchronies. The present chapter analyses the five contributions in Part 1 insofar as they bear witness to this claim. Five very specific grammar issues are addressed and investigated: the Late Modern English semantic changes and grammaticalization processes undergone by a closed set of nautical a-prefixed words originally denoting location and direction, the evolution of verbs expressing manner of the motion, the development of the adverbial subordinator if as a declarative complementizer down to Modern English, the progress of three specific adverbial connectives along the history of English as evidenced by data gathered from different historical corpora, and the manner in which the evolution of English over the centuries as regards its analicity versus syntheticity typology can be measured and established.