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Dissertation Information

Title: The Development of Phrasal Verbs in British English from 1650 to 1990: A corpus-based study Add Dissertation
Author: Paula Rodríguez-Puente Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Department of English and German Philology
Completed in: 2013
Linguistic Subfield(s): Historical Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): María José López Couso

Abstract: This dissertation is intended to fill a gap in the literature of English
phrasal verbs by tackling some of the questions concerning the nature of
these structures and by describing their development during the Late Modern
English period and the Twentieth century. In the first part of the
dissertation I delimit the concept of phrasal verb as conceived of in
Present-day English. I also discuss its morphological, semantic and
syntactic aspects in order to reach a new and more precise definition which
can serve as the basis for the corpus analysis presented later on. Then I
describe the diachronic evolution of phrasal verbs from their fist
appearance in Old English period. Chapter 4 presents the corpus results
concerning the linguistic aspects (morphology, semantics and syntax) of
phrasal verbs during the Late Modern English period and the Twentieth
century. Chapter 5 includes a cross-genre analysis of this structures with
the aim to check whether it is actually possible to relate them with the
spoken, colloquial language. After comparing the recent history of phrasal
verbs with their status in earlier stages of the language as described in
the literature, the last chapter of the present dissertation analyses the
various ways in which phrasal verbs can be realted to the processes of
grammaticalization, lexicalization and idiomatization. Based on a model of
graded categorization which includes both syntactic and semantic aspects,
the last chapter also presents a new model for the understanding of the
relationship of phrasal verbs and the aforementioned processes. For these
purposes, data have been extracted from several sources, in particular from
ARCHER 3.1 (A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers),
although many illustrative examples, especially those involving Present-day
English combinations, have also been obtained from the BNC (British
National Corpus) or the Internet.