'Almost' in Early and Late Modern English: Turning on the Parametric Screw (But Not Tightly Enough to Change a Parameter)

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/91229
Dokumentart: ConferenceObject
Date: 2019-07-31
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Allgemeine u. vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
420 - English and Old English
Keywords: Parameter <Linguistik> , Diachronie , Historische Sprachwissenschaft , Dekomposition
Other Keywords:
parametric change
License: http://tobias-lib.uni-tuebingen.de/doku/lic_mit_pod.php?la=de http://tobias-lib.uni-tuebingen.de/doku/lic_mit_pod.php?la=en
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This contribution investigates the decompositional behavior of ‘almost’ in Early and Late Modern English (EModE/LModE), i.e.: whether the adverb is able to modify result states of predicates to which it attaches, in addition to the default possibility of modifying the meaning of the entire events. ‘Almost’ is found to be decompositional in EModE at a time when ‘again’ was not truly so (Beck & Gergel, 2015; Gergel & Beck, 2015). This supports the view that decompositionality is primarily a lexical property. The trajectory of the decompositional behavior in EModE and LModE is, however, complicated by a series of factors, and some possible tendencies towards its decline are observed.

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