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By Anthony R. Warner

Auxiliaries are probably the most complicated components of English syntax. war of words over either the rules and information in their grammar has been mammoth. Anthony Warner the following deals a close account of either their synchronic and diachronic homes. He first argues that lexical houses are primary to their grammar, that's particularly non-abstract. He then strains intimately the historical past of approaches of grammaticalisation of their improvement and claims such a lot significantly that we will be able to establish a gaggle of auxiliaries in English from an early interval on formal, not only semantic, grounds. This ebook meets the twin problem of accounting for either the grammar and the background of the English auxiliary. will probably be crucial examining for all these drawn to English syntax and its heritage.

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English Auxiliaries: Structure and History

Auxiliaries are some of the most complicated parts of English syntax. confrontation over either the rules and information in their grammar has been giant. Anthony Warner right here bargains a close account of either their synchronic and diachronic houses. He first argues that lexical homes are principal to their grammar, that's rather non-abstract.

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Let us review verblike properties of auxiliaries in this spirit. 1. Auxiliaries may head 'VP\ The phrasal constituent containing (headed by) a nonfinite auxiliary is on the face of it to be identified as (some kind of) VP since it behaves so substantially like VP in coordination and subcategorization. 2. Tense and agreement. It has been suggested that auxiliaries are like verbs in showing tense and (in nonmodals) agreement. 2). But this is not an argument for any very close identity, especially given the diachronic perspective of steadily diminishing past-tense uses of these forms and the fact that crosslinguistically tense may be an independent particle as well as appearing on verbs.

Other auxiliaries Is this sufficient to cope with the less central auxiliaries? ). 5 Problems and context of analysis 19 such uses. Perfect have, periphrastic do and most uses of be do not select their subjects and can be interpreted as 'sentential modifiers' in the relevant sense. 16). But the presence of these items in the category auxiliary is justified from a semantic point of view not so much by their possession of prototypical properties as by the fact that they are even more remote from the verbal prototype, which denotes an action or event (Hopper and Thompson 1984).

This is sometimes subdivided. 'Progressive' be, 'passive' be and copula be have distinct subcategorizations in ASW, and are generated in distinct positions in structure. But there is a reasonable case that at least 'progressive' be, 'passive' be, and be with attributive and locative complements should be treated as a single item, which just happens to occur with complements of distinct form and semantics (though 'identifying' be may be different). The evidence for this is twofold. In the first place, the complements of be have an independent distribution and semantics.

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