Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This paper proposes a method that is designed to facilitate diachronic speech act analysis. The proposed method draws on the corpus linguistic concept of local grammar – an approach which seeks to account for, not the whole of a language, but one meaning or function only. Local grammar descriptions capture both formal and semantic regularities of speech act realisations, and local grammars offer a more reliable way to quantify speech act realisations across time. It is particularly in this respect that it is argued that a local grammar approach can be useful for diachronic speech act studies, which is demonstrated subsequently by tracing one particular speech act, namely “apology”, in a sample of the Corpus of Historical American English ().


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): American English; apology; diachronic speech act analysis; local grammar; speech acts
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