Exploring grammatical differences between Irish and British English

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This paper focuses on verb syntax and especially the use of modal auxiliaries with the progressive form (MODAL &#43; <i>be</i> V-<i>ing</i>) in standard and nonstandard spoken varieties of Irish and British English. Modal auxiliaries are known to be undergoing major changes in present-day Englishes, while increasing use of the progressive has been observed for both nonstandard and standard varieties globally. The results show higher rates of use of MODAL &#43; V-<i>ing</i> in Irish English than in British English. Particularly noticeable is the more frequent use of WILL &#43; V-<i>ing</i> in both standard and nonstandard Irish English than in British English. These findings suggest a certain degree of distinctiveness for Irish English vis-&#224;-vis British English in this domain of grammar. Keywords: Irish English; British English; modal auxiliaries; progressive


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