Udo Rohe

Determinants of progressive use in a synchronic and short-term diachronic perspective: the role of frequency and its interplay with other factors

ErstbetreuerProf. Dr. Dr. h. c. Christian Mair
ZweitbetreuerProf. Dr. Lars Konieczny

Even though extensively studied, central issues concerning the use and development of the English progressive construction have not been answered satisfactorily to this day. By combining corpus and elicitation data, my dissertation seeks to identify the determinants of progressive use in contemporary spoken British English and tries to explain the progressive's synchronic and short-term diachronic frequency variation. Moving beyond the usually exclusively corpus-based orientation of previous studies, my research is designed to identify the factors accounting for speakers' choices and the observed patterns of variation in the data. One of the main objectives is to determine the influence of the progressive's token frequency on speakers' readiness to use a progressive and to analyse its interplay with other alleged determinants of progressive use. Furthermore, I will analyse the role of frequency in the diachronic development of specific collocational / idiomatic progressive uses. The combination of corpus and elicitation data will provide converging evidence and promises new insights into the varying and changing use of the progressive.

DisziplinEnglish Studies
Forschungsrichtunglanguage variation and change, corpus linguistics, construction grammar
Schlüsselbegriffeprogressive construction, frequency effects, converging evidence