Please note: This is a new edition of a previously released text
Based on the systematic analysis of large amounts of computer-readable text, this 2009 book shows how the English language has
been changing in the recent past, often in unexpected and previously undocumented ways. The study is based on a group of matching
corpora, known as the 'Brown family' of corpora, supplemented by a range of other corpus materials, both written and spoken, drawn mainly from the later twentieth century. Among the matters receiving particular attention are the influence of American English on British English, the role of the press, the 'colloquialization' of written English, and a wide range of grammatical topics, including the modal auxiliaries, progressive, subjunctive, passive, genitive and relative clauses. These subjects build an overall picture of how English grammar is changing, and the linguistic and social factors that are contributing to this process.
Review of the hardback: 'CCE suggests a number of issues that will no doubt inspire much research in the future, not only in English, but in any language for which electronic corpora are available over a fifty- to hundred-year period. … Regardless of any limitations of the corpora, the authors have developed a rigorous methodology for tagging, quantifying and analyzing electronic corpus materials, and revealing the multifactorial nature of change in use.' - Elizabeth Closs Traugott, English Language and Linguistics