English Auxiliaries

English Auxiliaries : Structure and History

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Auxiliaries are one of the most complex areas of English syntax. Disagreement over both the principles and details of their grammar has been substantial. Anthony Warner here offers a detailed account of both their synchronic and diachronic properties. He first argues that lexical properties are central to their grammar, which is relatively non-abstract. He then traces in detail the history of processes of grammaticalisation in their development and claims most notably that we can identify a group of auxiliaries in English from an early period on formal, not just semantic, grounds. This book meets the dual challenge of accounting for both the grammar and the history of the English auxiliary. It will be essential reading for all those interested in English syntax and its history.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139245201
  • 9781139245203

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Basic properties of English auxiliaries; 2. The morphosyntactic independence of auxiliaries; 3. A formal interlude: the grammar of English auxiliaries; 4. Distinguishing auxiliaries and verbs in early English; 5. Identifying an 'auxiliary group' before Modern English sentence-level syntax; 6. Identifying an 'auxiliary group' before Modern English: further properties of 'modals'; 7. The developing modal semantics of early English 'modals'; 8. The status of modals and auxiliaries before Modern English and the rise of do; 9. Conclusions; Notes; References; Indexes.show more