Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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This study is a corpus-based investigation of the development of English clause-initial quotative inversion, i.e. the construction in which a reporting clause with SV inversion is placed before the quoted message. The analysis makes use of various corpora of historical and contemporary English in order to document quantity and quality changes in the investigated construction in all stages of English. The study shows that the construction observed in Present Day English has developed in a continuous way since the period of Old English, although it has been a low-frequency pattern in each historical period. Moreover, the construction has developed differently in British and American English. In the former variety, the clause-initial quotative inversion is still quite rare and limited to newspapers, mostly tabloids; in the latter, it is quite widespread in magazines, where it shows an exceptionally high frequency and a growing collocational range.


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