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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

(p.190) 8 The History of English DO
Language Change and Linguistic Theory, Volume II

D. Gary Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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