Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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Composite predicates (CPs), that is, complex predicate structures comprising a light verb and an eventive noun (e.g., or ) are common in Present-day English and are particularly characteristic of spoken language. The aim of the paper is to trace language changes involving CPs from 1560 to 1760, a period in which the use of CPs has not yet received adequate scholarly attention. Specifically, the study examines the frequencies, lexical productivity and syntactic patterns of CPs in two types of Early Modern English (EModE) dialogues, drawn from Trial Proceedings and Drama Comedy sampled in  – a 1.2-million word computerized corpus of EModE speech-related texts. The results reveal significant differences between the two types of dialogue and shed light on the development of CPs in association with grammaticalization and lexicalization.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): composite predicate; dialogue; Early Modern English; grammaticalization; lexicalization
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