Volume 33, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Perfects of the type I have my dinner eaten are a well-known feature of Irish English dialects. They can be linked to a functionally similar construction in Irish, of the type tá mo dhinneár ite agam (literally “is my dinner eaten at-me”), but also to earlier constructions in Standard English. The issue has sometimes been treated as a competition between two seemingly mutually exclusive explanations, a “substrate” and a “retentionist” hypothesis.
This dichotomy can be overcome on the basis of a model of “contact-induced grammaticalisation” (Heine/Kuteva 2005): an existing source structure in the receiving language (English) expands along normal paths, but under a triggering effect of a contact language (Irish), ultimately leading to an apparent duplication of a foreign model.
Empirical data comes from historical 18th/19th century corpus material. It provides evidence about the chronology and sociolinguistic setting in which the relevant changes took place. It supports a scenario where both Irish-English bilingualism and exposure to the English source constructions played crucial roles.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): English; grammaticalisation; Hiberno-English; Irish; language contact
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error