Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.

Academic Paper


Title: The development of future time expressions in Late Modern English: redistribution of forms or change in discourse?
Author: Nadja Nesselhauf
Institution: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: 'This article provides the first comprehensive analysis of the development of the future time expressions 'will', '’ll', 'shall', 'be going to', progressive with future time reference, and 'be to' in the course of the late modern period. The article focuses on possible reasons for the considerable changes that have taken place in the past few centuries. To what degree can the changes be described as certain forms having been (partially) replaced by others? To what degree have general or register-specific changes in discourse affected the use of future time expressions? These questions are investigated on the basis of the British part of ARCHER ('A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers').
The analysis reveals that it is a complex interaction of both types of processes that is responsible for the recent evolution of future time expressions. Redistribution processes turn out to be highly complex in themselves, going far beyond the frequently described replacement of 'shall' by 'will' and probably proceeding in chains. With respect to discourse change, one result is an unexpected overall decrease in the tendency of writers (and speakers) to refer to their own plans, intentions, etc. Partly responsible for this development is a discourse change in science writing, where the author has increasingly disappeared from the text, so that text structure is much less frequently expressed in terms of the author's intention. A further register-specific discourse change that the investigation brings to light is a development in diaries from an earlier restriction to reporting past events to the expression of more personal views, including hopes and fears for the future.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 14, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page