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The use of relativizers across speaker roles and gender: Explorations in 19th-century trials, drama and letters
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2007 (English)In: Corpus Linguistics Beyond the Word: Corpus Research from Phrase to Discourse / [ed] Fitzpatrick, E, 2007, 257-277 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In Present-day English, the development of the relativizers has been towards a more frequent use of that. In 19th-century English, however, the wh-forms predominate. The present paper explores the distribution of that and the wh-forms (who, whom, whose and which) across speaker roles and gender in 19th-century Trials, Drama and Letters, and, in particular, describes the contexts in which that occurs. The data are drawn from CONCE, A Corpus of Nineteenth-Century English, consisting of I million words, covering genres representative of 19th-century English usage. The wh-forms are favoured by 19th-century letter writers, and speakers in Trials and Drama. A few female letter writers use that frequently, introducing a new, less formal, style in letter writing. In Trials, that is used most frequently by judges, lawyers and witnesses in typical environments: in cleft sentences; that is used with nonpersonal nouns and with pronouns such as something, everything and all. Playwrights may use that as a stylistic device to describe the speech of primarily, waiters, maids, and other servants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 257-277 p.
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-14934ISI: 000244131600015ISBN: 978-90-420-2135-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-14934DiVA: diva2:42705
5th North American Symposium on Corpus Linguistics Montclair State Univ, Montclair, NJ, MAY 21-23, 2004
Available from: 2008-01-31 Created: 2008-01-31 Last updated: 2012-03-22Bibliographically approved

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