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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Lone pronoun tags in Early Modern English: ProTag constructions in the dramas of Jonson, Marlowe and Shakespeare
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Ling & Literature; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Recent research into right-dislocated pronouns has provided details of the form and functions of lone pronoun tag (ProTag) constructions in Present-day British English. In this article, we present the first systematic investigation of ProTag constructions in an earlier variety, Early Modern English. Using as our corpus the dramatic works of Jonson, Marlowe and Shakespeare – writers already known to make use of tag questions in their works – we identified and analysed ProTag constructions. Our findings reveal that ProTag constructions in Early Modern English differ from their Present-day British English equivalents with respect to possible functions: in the earlier variety ProTag constructions could have a ‘Question’ function, the same as tag questions. We also found the relative frequency of demonstrative ProTags compared to personal ProTags to be significantly different: personal ProTags are far more frequently attested than demonstrative ProTags in our corpus of Early Modern English drama texts; this is the reverse of what has been found for Present-day British English. We propose that a key factor in the observed change is extension of the types of referents that demonstrative ProTags can have. This study offers a new perspective on ProTag constructions, their classification and development.


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 25, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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