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Book Information


Title: New-Dialect Formation in Canada
Subtitle: Evidence from the English modal auxiliaries
Written By: Stefan Dollinger
Series Title: Studies in Language Companion Series 97

This book details the development of eleven modal auxiliaries in late 18-
and 19-century Canadian English in a framework of new-dialect formation.
The study assesses features of the modal auxiliaries, tracing influences to
British and American input varieties, parallel developments, or Canadian
innovations. The findings are based on the Corpus of Early Ontario
, pre-Confederation Section, the first electronic corpus
of early Canadian English. The data, which are drawn from newspapers,
diaries and letters, include original transcriptions from manuscript
sources and texts from semi-literate writers. While the overall results are
generally coherent with new-dialect formation theory, the Ontarian context
suggests a number of adaptations to the current model. In addition to its
general Late Modern English focus, New-Dialect Formation in Canada
traces changes in epistemic modal functions up to the present day, offering
answers to the loss of root uses in the central modals. By comparing
Canadian with British and American data, important theoretical insights on
the origins of the variety are gained. The study offers a sociohistorical
perspective on a still understudied variety of North American English by
combining language-internal features with settlement history in this first
monograph-length, diachronic treatment of Canadian English in real time.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027231087
ISBN-13: 9789027231086
Prices: Europe EURO 110.00
U.S. $ 149.00