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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

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Title: Spreading Patterns
Subtitle: Diffusional Change in the English System of Complementation
Written By: Hendrik de Smet
Series Title: Oxford Studies in the History of English

Spreading Patterns examines how new constructions emerge and spread through the grammar of a language, in a process called "diffusion". This is done by tracking the development of three types of complements from the Middle English period to the present day. These are subject-controlled gerund complements,, and subject-controlled participial complements. In the first half of the book, De Smet focuses on how and why patterns diffuse. In the second half, which is largely corpus-based, De Smet tests his theoretical model of diffusion on the three complement types. His work demonstrates how diffusion interacts with the grammatical system of complementation, how diffusion proceeds, step-by-step, and why diffusion is directional. Spreading Patterns will appeal to scholars and advanced students of English, history of English, and historical linguistics.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780199812752
Pages: 304
Prices: U.S. $ 74.00