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The mandative subjunctive in spoken English

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Abstract

Regional variation of the mandative subjunctive has come to light during the twentieth century, with corpus-based research showing it to be standard usage in American English whereas its currency in British English was limited. This research reviews the use of the mandative in spoken data from six ICE-corpora, to show marked regional differences among both settler and indigenized varieties of English. While its currency in spoken data from New Zealand is relatively low, it is on a par with written usage in Australian English, as well as Singaporean and Philippine English. However spoken instances of the mandative are typically found in public and institutional dialogue/monologue, rather than private conversation, so that it cannot be said to have become vernacularised.

References

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