Jack Hoeksema at LEL Research Seminar

Posted on January 24, 2014 by

The first LEL research seminar of the year will be this Tuesday (28th Jan) at 4.15pm, in Ellen Wilkinson A2.16. The speaker will be Jack Hoeksema (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) on Adverbs of degree in Dutch and English: diachronic developments. The abstract is below.

As usual, there will be wine and crisps after the seminar, and we will be taking the speaker to dinner, with all welcome to come along.

I discuss diachronic developments among adverbs of degree, focussing on the tremendous growth of this category in the period 1600-2000. I argue that the growth leads to increasing specialization among adverbs of degree, including sensitivity to both sentential and antonymic polarity, syntactic categories, lexical semantic classes, negative and positive connotation, and prosodic factors. I will illustrate these claims with corpus data from English and Dutch. A lot of the changes appear to be Sprachbund phenomena, spreading easily across the Western European languages.