Progressives in Maltese English

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In investigating progressives in Maltese English we use data from a sub-sample of ICE-Malta and parallel British and American texts, as well as questionnaires from these countries. Progressives in written Maltese English, with one exception, broadly follow the British exonormative standard. However, substantial differences are evident in spoken texts, including the extension of progressives to stative verbs. But the differences cannot generally be explained in terms of overuse and extension. Our data confirm previous comparative studies in that the use of progressives also in Maltese English is subject to text type and formality considerations. Two additional important factors are language contact (e.g. the existence of parallel constructions and imperfectives in Maltese) and language-internal constraints (e.g. a cline between dynamic and stative verbs). Keywords: Maltese English; progressive; stative verb; English as a Second Language; language contact


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