<i>I had lost sight of them then for</i> a bit, <i>but I went on</i> pretty <i>fast</i>

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
This Chapter is currently unavailable for purchase.

This article investigates the degree modifiers <i>pretty</i> and <i>a bit</i> in the subsection 1730s&#8211;1830s of the <i>Old Bailey Corpus</i> (OBC), containing speech-based/related data (ca. 50 million words). <i>Pretty</i> is shown to be already grammaticalized, with the degree modifier uses clearly dominating. Subjectification is evidenced both by the downtoning and upgrading degree meanings as well as by the ironic uses. While <i>a bit is </i>also semantically versatile and shows nuances of subjectification, it is far less grammaticalized than <i>pretty</i>, as the degree uses are in the clear minority. The change seems to be led by <i>a bit of (a)</i>-constructions rather than by simple <i>a bit</i>.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address