The do-Periphrasis: Origins and Develoment of the do-Periphrasis and its Functions in Modern English by Oliver Christl

The do-Periphrasis: Origins and Develoment of the do-Periphrasis and its Functions in Modern English

byOliver Christl

Kobo ebook | December 17, 2009

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Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject English - Pedagogy, Didactics, Literature Studies, grade: 1, 0, University of Würzburg, language: English, abstract: As a feature that does not occur in any other language in Europe, the do-periphrasis is a peculiar phenomenon of English grammar. Across the centuries it has gradually replaced certain other grammatical uses and has in this way developed to an indispensable construction in the standard speech of Present-Day English In the following, this paper will examine the history of the do-periphrasis and its functions in Modern English. Therefore, the investigation first focuses on possible origins of the do-periphrasis and its further development during Early English times. On this historical basis, then the functions and occurrences of the do-periphrasis in Modern English are described in the second part of the paper. As one of the most intriguing phenomena in the English language the do-periphrasis has found widespread scholarly interest and, therefore, was investigated and portrayed in a great variety of studies. In recent years, David Denison, Matti Rissanen, Terttue Nevalainen and Arja Nurmi have produced the most influential works on the do-periphrasis, based on earlier ideas of thinkers such as Visser, Engblom or Ellegard. The examples in the second part of this investigation are taken from the British National Corpus in its online version provided by the British Library. In Old English times, the verb don, predecessor of the modern verb do, was exclusively functioning as a main verb and, therefore, did not have any auxiliary qualities. In this sense, it could on the one hand be used as a full verb, a function the verb has maintained throughout the Middle English and Early Modern English period up to today. On the other hand, from the Modern English period onwards it could appear as a causative verb, as in: 'preyng you þat ye wole do them spede them in þat matier' ('asking you to cause them to hasten/succeed in that matter') (Denison 1993: 255ff.). However, during the history of the English language the verb do has also developed auxiliary qualities within a periphrastic construction. The origins of this so called do-periphrasis are not clearly definable and, therefore, highly discussed in modern linguistics, as '[t]here are some uncertain instances of it from Old English, and more certain data from the end of the thirteenth century onwards, but the periphrasis only gains ground at the end of the fifteenth century' (Nevalainen 2006:199)

Title:The do-Periphrasis: Origins and Develoment of the do-Periphrasis and its Functions in Modern EnglishFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 17, 2009Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3640495810

ISBN - 13:9783640495818

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