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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."

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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.

Academic Paper

Title: The Rise and Fall of Constructions and the History of English Do-Support
Author: Peter W. Culicover
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Ohio State University
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Do-support is a unique characteristic of English. Many languages other than English have do-periphrasis but not English-type do-support. This raises the obvious question: What is special about English? The goal of this paper is to provide an account of English do-support that explains why do-support, with its attendant properties, is found uniquely in English. I review the classical derivational approaches to do-support and argue that they do not satisfactorily capture the generalizations. I suggest an alternative, non-derivational account of contemporary do-support that makes crucial use of constructions. Finally, I propose an account of the history of do-support in English that characterizes the changes in terms of the content and scope of constructions. The rise of do-support can be understood as a consequence of the contraction and re-specialization of particular constructions in the wake of well-documented changes in the overt morphological system of the language.


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 20, Issue 1.

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