ERIC Number: ED461999
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Sure How Would the (Imminent) Future Ever Be after Becoming the (Recent) Past? Change in the Irish English "Be after V-ing" Construction.
This paper examines the written use of the "be after V-ing" construction since the reintroduction of English into Ireland. Information comes from publications beginning in 1670, including 193 works by 87 authors providing 1,316 tokens of the construction. Results support Filppula's (1999) view of historical change in the use of this construction in Irish English. The shift from prospective to perfective meanings occurred throughout the 19th century. The diachronic pattern of use that was revealed provides a link between the historical picture of Bliss' (1979) anthology and modern grammatical accounts. The construction has undergone change in a process that has passed through four stages: 17th and 18th centuries ("be after V-ing" carries mainly prospective meanings, referring to future and non-actual states); early 19th century (while use of "be after V-ing" in prospective senses remains strong, half of all occurrences are now perfect); late 19th century (perfective connotations become more common as the use of "be after V-ing" in prospective senses continues to fall); and 20th century (the construction ceases to carry prospective meanings altogether, becoming almost exclusively perfective). The study highlights the value of examining the existing record of written Irish English usage. (Contains 58 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Tromso Univ. (Norway).
Identifiers - Location: Ireland