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Language Change and Linguistic Theory, Volume IIMorphological, Syntactic, and Typological Change$
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D. Gary Miller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583430.001.0001

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The History of English DO

The History of English DO

Chapter:
(p.190) 8 The History of English DO
Source:
Language Change and Linguistic Theory, Volume II
Author(s):

D. Gary Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583430.003.0009

Do underwent four main structural reanalyses. The first (merger in v) took do from a causative verb to a factual/evidential auxiliary. There was also a semantically empty variant that became more frequent as V‐to‐T movement was gradually lost over the period from c15 to ca.1730. The second reanalysis was to an interrogative marker [ca.1600]. Initially, do occurred only in questions with evidential semantics, but in yes‐no questions had multiple motivations. The third reanalysis was to Cinque's highest Mood/Modal categories (epistemic, evidential, evaluative, and speech act). The fourth reanalysis was restriction to verum focus and Force/Illocution (Mood speech act). All of these changes illustrate reanalysis to higher functional positions, in this case to the highest universal functional categories proposed by Rizzi and Cinque.

Keywords:   Reanalysis, English do, verum focus, Mood/Modality categories, evidential auxiliary, evidential semantics

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