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Diachrony and Synchrony in English Corpus Linguistics


Alejandro Alcaraz Sintes and Salvador Valera Hernández

The volume brings together a selection of invited articles and papers presented at the 4th International CILC Conference held in Jaén, Spain, in March 2012. The chapters describe English using a range of corpora and other resources. There are two parts, one dealing with diachronic research and the other with synchronic research. Both parts investigate several aspects of the English language from various perspectives and illustrate the use of corpora in current research. The structure of the volume allows for the same linguistic aspect to be discussed both from the diachronic and the synchronic point of view. The chapters are also useful examples of corpus use as well as of use of other resources as corpus, specifically dictionaries. They investigate a broad array of issues, mainly using corpora of English as a native language, with a focus on corpus tools and corpus description.
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The use of if as a declarative complementizer in English: theoretical and empirical considerations: María José López-Couso / Belén Méndez-Naya



The use of if as a declarative complementizer in English: theoretical and empirical considerations1


This chapter approaches the study of the subordinator if in declarative complements of the type It would be a good idea if you hired a bodyguard. Like other connectives originally associated with adverbial subordination (e.g., lest, as if, as though) and with [+wh] complementation (e.g., how), over time if develops a subsidiary function as a declarative link. A number of syntactic and semantic criteria suggest the existence of gradience between (i) the conditional and the declarative complementizer use of if; and (ii) interrogative if and declarative if Based on data from the Helsinki Corpus and A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers, our study shows that the selection of declarative if in the history of English is typically associated with the presence of commentative predicates and non-assertive contexts. Moreover, if-complements are particularly common in subject function and show a lesser degree of integration in the sentence than prototypical subject clauses. Finally, data from ARCHER 3.1 also suggest a close link between declarative complements introduced by if and informal style. ← 85 | 86 →


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