What Time: 'When, Whenever, While': A Byline in the Development of English Temporal Subordinators

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Abstract

In this article the rare Middle English and Modern English temporal subordinator what time is studied in the light of seven corpora. The topics studied include the diachronic variation and change in the use of the subordinator, its diatopic coverage and the optional elements appended to the subordinator. The article further pays attention to the semantics of the subordinator what time and weighs the possible roles of language-external and language-internal causes for its rise, opting ultimately for the latter alternative. The study concludes with a discussion of two changes: the grammaticalization of what time and the retraction seen in its grammaticalization chain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEx Philologia Lux : Essays in Honour of Leena Kahlas-Tarkka
EditorsJukka Tyrkkö
Number of pages21
Volume90
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherSociété Néophilologique de Helsinki
Publication date2013
EditionMémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki
Pages3-23
ISBN (Print)978-951-9040-46-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameMémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki
PublisherSociété Néophilologique
Volume90
ISSN (Print)0355-0192

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