<i>Ma daddy</i> <i>wis</i> dead <i>chuffed</i>

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The present paper aims to shed light on the dialectal distribution of the intensifier <i>dead</i> in four varieties of Present-Day English: American, British, Irish and Scottish English. For this purpose, data are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, the <i>Brigham Young University-British National Corpus</i>, the Irish component of the <i>International Corpus of English</i> and the <i>Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech</i>. A collocational analysis of the adverbial and adjectival form <i>dead</i> makes it possible to see whether <i>dead</i> takes a literal reading or is rather used as a grammaticalised intensifier. The paper argues that intensifying <i>dead</i> is most productive in the Irish and Scottish varieties, followed by the British and American dialects.


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