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I had lost sight of them then for a bit, but I went on pretty fast: Two degree modifiers in the Old Bailey Corpus
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2014 (English)In: Diachronic Corpus Pragmatics / [ed] Irma Taavitsainen, Andreas H. Jucker and Jukka Tuominen, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins , 2014, 29-52 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the degree modifiers pretty and a bit in the subsection 1730s–1830s of the Old Bailey Corpus (OBC), containing speech-based/related data (ca. 50 million words). Pretty is shown to be already grammaticalized, with the degree modifier uses clearly dominating. Subjectification is evidenced both by the downtoning and upgrading degree meanings as well as by the ironic uses. While a bit is also semantically versatile and shows nuances of subjectification, it is far less grammaticalized than pretty, as the degree uses are in the clear minority. The change seems to be led by a bit of (a)-constructions rather than by simple a bit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins , 2014. 29-52 p.
, Pragmatics & Beyond New Series (P&BNS), ISSN 0922-842X ; 243
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-222792ISBN: 978 90 272 5648 5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-222792DiVA: diva2:712268
Available from: 2014-04-14 Created: 2014-04-14 Last updated: 2014-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Kytö, Merja
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