Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-747cfc64b6-cssqh Total loading time: 0.192 Render date: 2021-06-13T09:40:13.886Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Divide and conquer: the formation and functional dynamics of the Modern English ing-clause network 1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2015

LAUREN FONTEYN
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics, University of Leuven, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium lauren.fonteyn@kuleuven-kul ak.be
NIKKI VAN DE POL
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics, University of Leuven, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, box 3308, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium nikki.vandepol@arts.kuleuven.be

Abstract

The present article offers a corpus-based analysis of the diachronic development of the usage profiles of three adverbial non-finite clauses in Modern English: the free adjunct, the verbal gerund and the absolute construction. By treating present-participial adverbial clauses and adverbial gerunds as part of a single adverbial ing-clause network, this article sheds new light on the different semantic and functional-pragmatic factors motivating the formal variation within the ing-clause network. By means of two mixed-model logistic regression analyses, we determine the relative impact of the independent variables of adverbial semantics, position, degree of coreference and length on the language user's choice in (i) whether or not to include augmentation (syndesis) and (ii) whether or not to include an overt subject in the adverbial ing-clause. The resulting picture is one of an emerging adverbial ing-clause network in which the internal variation is determined by principles of processing complexity.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

1

This article was written with joint first authorship, based on a joint data analysis. The research reported in this article was supported by a doctoral grant of the Research Foundation – Flanders, as well as by the FWO-project G0A5412N. The authors would like to thank Christoph Rzymski and Freek Van De Velde for their valuable advice and contributions in the setting up and conducting of the logistic regression analysis. Furthermore, we are grateful to Freek Van De Velde for his help in visualizing the results of the analysis. Finally, we would like to thank Bernd Kortmann and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on the first draft of this article.

References

Behrens, B. & Fabricius-Hansen, C.. 2005. The relation accompanying circumstance across languages: Conflict between linguistic expression and discourse subordination? SPRIK Reports 32. www.hf.uio.no/forskningsprosjekter/sprik.Google Scholar
Berent, Gerald P. 1975. English absolutes in functional perspective. In Grossman, Robin E. & San, James L. (eds.), Papers from the parasession on functionalism: A paravolume to Papers from the eleventh regional meeting of the CLS, 1033. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.Google Scholar
Callaway, Morgan Jr. 1901. The appositive participle in Anglo-Saxon. PMLA 16, 141360.Google Scholar
Chafe, Wallace L. 1984. How people use adverbial clauses. In Proceedings of the tenth annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 437–49. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Comrie, Bernard. 1976. Aspect: An introduction to the study of verbal aspect and related problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Dalton-Puffer, Christine. 1996. The French influence on Middle English morphology: A corpus-based study of derivation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Smet, Hendrik. 2008. Functional motivations in the development of nominal and verbal gerunds in Middle and Early Modern English. English Language and Linguistics, 12 (1), 55102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Smet, Hendrik. 2010. English ing-clauses and their problems: The structure of grammatical categories. Linguistics 48 (6), 1153–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Smet, Hendrik. 2013. Spreading patterns: Diffusional change in the English system of complementation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
De Smet, Hendrik and Heyvaert, Liesbet. 2011. The meaning of the English present participle. English Language and Linguistics 15 (3), 473–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Diessel, Holger. 2005. Competing motivations for the ordering of main and adverbial clauses. Linguistics 43, 449–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fanego, Teresa. 2004. On reanalysis and actualization in syntactic change: The rise and development of English verbal gerund. Diachronica 21 (1), 555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fonteyn, Lauren & Cuyckens, Hubert. 2014. The development of free adjuncts in English and Dutch. In Adams, Michael Paul, Brinton, Laurel & Fulk, Robert (eds.), Historical accounts of English: Critical approaches to methodology and evidence, 1550. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Givón, Talmy. 1990. Syntax: A functional-typological introduction, vol. II. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Gries, Stefan Th. forthcoming. The most underused statistical method in corpus linguistics: Multi-level (and mixed-effects) models. Corpora 10 (1).Google Scholar
Halliday, M. A. K. 2004. An introduction to functional grammar, 3rd edn. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
Hawkins, John A. 1992. Syntactic weight and information status in word order variation. Linguistische Berichte (special issue) 4, 196219.Google Scholar
Hawkins, John A. 1994. A performance theory of order and constituency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Houston, Ann. 1989. The English gerund: Syntactic change and discourse function. In Fasold, Ralph W. & Schiffrin, Deborah (eds.), Language change and variation, 173–96. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huddleston, Rodney & Pullum, Geoffrey K.. 2002. The Cambridge grammar of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jespersen, Otto. 1940. A modern English grammar on historical principles, part V, vol. IV: Syntax. Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard.Google Scholar
Kastovsky, Dieter. 1985. Deverbal nouns in Old and Modern English: From stem-formation to word-formation. In Fisiak, Jacek (ed.), Historical semantics – historical word-formation, 221–61. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Kastovsky, Dieter. 1992. Semantics and vocabulary. In Hogg, Richard (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language, volume 1, 290408. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Killie, Kristin. 2007. On the history of verbal present participle converbs in English and Norwegian and the concept of change from below. In Elspass, Stephan, Langer, Nils, Scharloth, Joachim & Vandenbussche, Wim (eds.), Germanic language histories ‘from below’ (1700–2000), 149–62. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Killie, Kristin & Swan, Toril. 2009. The grammaticalization and subjectification of adverbial -ing clauses (converb clauses) in English. English Language and Linguistics 13, 337–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kisbye, Torben. 1971. An historical outline of English syntax. Aarhus: Akademisk boghandel.Google Scholar
Kohnen, Thomas. 2004. Text, Textsorte, Sprachgeschichte: Englische Partizipial- und Gerundialkonstruktionen 1100 bis 1700. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kortmann, Bernd. 1991. Free adjuncts and absolutes in English: Problems of control and interpretation. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Kortmann, Bernd. 1995. Adverbial participial clauses in English. In Haspelmath, Martin & König, Ekkehard (eds.), Converbs in cross-linguistic perspective, 189237. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Lass, Roger. 1992. Phonology and morphology. In Blake, Norman (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language, vol. II: 1066–1476, 23155. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leech, Geoffrey, Hundt, Marianne, Mair, Christian & Smith, Nicholas. 2009. Change in contemporary English: A grammatical study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levinson, S. C. 1987. Pragmatics and the grammar of anaphora: A partial pragmatic reduction of binding and control phenomena. Journal of Linguistics 23, 379434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mustanoja, Tauno Frans. 1960. A Middle English syntax. Helsinki: Société Néophilologique.Google Scholar
Perek, Florent. 2012. Alternation-based generalizations are stored in the mental grammar: Evidence from a sorting task experiment. Cognitive Linguistics 23, 601–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
PPCEME: The Penn–Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English , 1500–1710, 1.7 m words. Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania. CD-ROM, 1st edition, www.ling.upenn.edu/hist-corpora/.Google Scholar
PPCMBE: The Penn–Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Modern British English , 1700–1914, 1 m words. Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania. CD-ROM, 1st edition, www.ling.upenn.edu/hist-corpora/.Google Scholar
Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey & Svartvik, Jan. 1985. A comprehensive grammar of the English language. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Ramsay, Violetta. 1987. The functional distribution of preposed and postposed ‘if’ and ‘when’ clauses in written discourse. In Tomlin, R. S. (ed.), Coherence and grounding in discourse: Outcome of a symposium, Eugene, Oregon, June 1984, 383408. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Río-Rey, Carmen. 2002. Subject control and coreference in Early Modern English free adjuncts and absolutes. English Language and Linguistics 6 (2), 309–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rohdenburg, Günter. 1996. Cognitive complexity and increased grammatical explicitness in English. Cognitive Linguistics 7, 149–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Speelman, D. 2014. Logistic regression: A confirmatory technique for comparisons in corpus linguistics. In Glynn, Dylan & Robinson, Justyna A. (eds.), Corpus methods for semantics: Quantitative studies in polysemy and synonymy, 487533. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tajima, Matsuji. 1985. The syntactic development of the gerund in Middle English. Tokyo: Nan’un-do.Google Scholar
Thompson, Sandra A. 1983. Grammar and discourse: The English detached participial clause. In Klein-Andreu, Flora (ed.), Discourse perspectives on syntax, 4364. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Timofeeva, Olga. 2010. Non-finite constructions in Old English with special reference to syntactic borrowing from Latin (Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki 80). Helsinki: Société Néophilologique.Google Scholar
Torres Cacoullos, Rena & Walker, James A.. 2009. The present of the English future: Grammatical variation and collocations in discourse. Language 85, 321–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Trousdale, Graeme. 2013. Constructionalization and constructional changes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van de Pol, Nikki. 2011. The issue of coreference in English absolutes: A diachronic account. Paper presented at the Helsinki Corpus Festival. Helsinki, 28 September – 2 October.Google Scholar
van de Pol, Nikki. 2014. One's death, another's bread: Did case loss enable the functional expansion of the English absolute construction? SLE 4, Poznan, 11–14 September.Google Scholar
van de Pol, Nikki & Cuyckens, Hubert. 2013. Gradualness in change in English augmented absolutes. In Ramat, Anna Giacalone, Mauri, Catarina & Molinelli, Piera (eds.), Synchrony and diachrony: A dynamic interface, 341–65. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van de Pol, Nikki & Petré, Peter. forthcoming. Why is there a Present-day English absolute? Studies in Language.Google Scholar
Van De Velde, Freek, De Smet, Hendrik & Ghesquière, Lobke. 2013. On multiple source constructions in language change. Studies in Language 37 (3), 473–89.Google Scholar
Verstraete, Jean Christophe. 2007. Rethinking the coordinate-subordinate dichotomy: Interpersonal grammar and the analysis of adverbial clauses in English. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Visser, Frederikus Theodorus. 1963–73. An historical syntax of the English language. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
Vosberg, Uwe. 2003. The role of extractions and horror aequi in the evolution of -ing complements in Modern English. In Rohdenburg, Günter & Mondorf, Britta (eds.), Determinants of grammatical variation in English, 305–27. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.Google Scholar
Wolk, Christoph, Bresnan, Joan, Rosenbach, Anette & Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt. 2013. Dative and genitive variability in Late Modern English: Exploring cross-constructional variation and change. Diachronica 30 (3), 382419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
13
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Divide and conquer: the formation and functional dynamics of the Modern English ing-clause network 1
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Divide and conquer: the formation and functional dynamics of the Modern English ing-clause network 1
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Divide and conquer: the formation and functional dynamics of the Modern English ing-clause network 1
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *