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The progressive

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Abstract

The progressive aspect has enjoyed spectacular growth in English since late Modern English, but its spread has not been uniform across all varieties. The study compared the frequency and uses of the progressive in Australian, New Zealand, British and American English across a range of variables. These included the overall frequency of tokens, the proportion of complex progressive forms, the proportion of special pragmatic uses, the frequency of main clause progressives and the frequency of contracted forms. It was found that the rise of the progressive is most advanced in the two antipodean varieties, with Australian English ahead of New Zealand English, and that of the northern hemisphere pair American English is the more advanced.

References

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