Modal adverbs in interaction &#8211; <i>obviously</i> and <i>definitely</i> in adolescent speech

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When we compare corpora compiled at different periods we can notice that the overall frequency of the adverbs of certainty is different. For example, <i>certainly </i>and <i>surely </i>do not have such a strong position in the <i>Bergen Corpus of London Teenage Language </i>(COLT) as in the <i>London-Lund Corpus </i>(LLC). On the other hand, <i>obviously </i>and <i>definitely </i>are proportionately more frequent in the COLT corpus than in the LLC. In particular they have become more frequent in uses involving intensification and affective meaning. Changes in the language are intimately connected with grammaticalization. The article argues that the grammaticalization of <i>obviously </i>and <i>definitely </i>can be explained with reference to the characteristics of adolescent speech.


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