Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This paper presents a local grammar based diachronic investigation of apology in spoken British English, aiming to offer an alternative approach for diachronic speech act analysis and to further explore what the changing patterns of apology would suggest about the social-cultural changes happened and/or happening in the British society. The paper shows that the proposed local grammar approach can contribute to a more delicate and finer-grained speech act annotation scheme, which in turn facilitates a more reliable quantification of speech act realisations across contexts or time. The subsequent investigation shows that apologies in spoken British English are becoming more formulaic and less explicit, which suggests that either social distance has been reduced or that Britain might have become an even more stratified society.


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