Be/Have Variation with Intransitives in English
With Special Reference to the Late Model Period
Stockholm Studies in English, No. LXX

By Mats Ryden & Sverker Brorstrom
April 1987
Almqvist & Wiksell
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 912200873X
265 pages, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2"
$42.50 Paper original


The present study, which is an outcome of the project "Late Modern English Syntax 1700-1900" is an analysis of the systematic variation of Be and Have with mutative intransitives in English, with special reference to the 18th & 19th centuries. In the course of these centuries the paradigm changed from a heavily be-dominated to an almost totally have-dominated system.

This unidirectional change, which started early and had its origins in the functional load of be, was governed and regulated by a number of sytacticosemantic agents and verb-inherent properties, which are accounted for in detail. In addition textual, individual and social variation has been considered, as has the paradigm as treated by 18th and 19th century perspective grammar.

The study, which is based on 6,625 tokens of the relevant be/have constructions taken from private letters and comedies (as supposedly representative of non-conservative usages), is the first book-length analysis of the paradigm and the first ever to examine the behavior of this paradigm in the final phases of its history.



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