The progressive in Irish English

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Progressives in Irish English are categorised and described in terms of twenty basic and extended functions, determined by lexical, syntactic and pragmatic criteria. Quantitative information derived from a set of corpora is then used as the basis for historical comparisons within Irish English and synchronic comparisons with English English data. Explanations are offered for the often considerably higher frequencies of the progressive in Irish English. Extended functions are shown to be the result of subjectification and grammaticalisation. The paper concludes that the progressive in Irish English is Janus-like, incorporating functions transferred from Irish and consequently originating in Irish English, and also functions shared with British English and, by implication, world Englishes. Keywords: Irish English; ICE-Ireland; progressives; frequencies; subjectification


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