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Norme et variation en anglais contemporain. Etude variationniste de quelques subordonnants : complémentation de « help » et « like » conjonction

Abstract : This study aims at analysing the general dynamics of the norm of contemporary English, together with its relationship with linguistic variation. In order to do so, a few subordoners have been selected to illustrate how the centre of gravity of the norm moves along the spatial and social axes. The study of the opposition between zero and to after the verb help is used to document the syntactic americanization of British English and it is shown that the constraints limiting the use of zero have gradually slackened, which led to a complete disappearance of the semantic distinction between the two forms. The said disappearance results from an evergrowing use of the bare infinitive for strategic reasons, particularly in advertizing. The third part deals with conjunction like and analyzes its expansion in English. It is argued that the appearance of this subordoner can be attributed to isomorphic and semantic factors, and to a potential reanalysis of the adjective like meaning likely.. This section also traces how this subordoner has spread through registers and text-types, and through syntactic structures, before becoming a central part of the English syntax. It appears that the success of this innovation reflects the current trends in modes of communication, which tend to favour interpersonal proximity for strategic purposes. From a mere acceptance of informality within the norm, we are now heading towards a new norm of informality.
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Mathilde Pinson. Norme et variation en anglais contemporain. Etude variationniste de quelques subordonnants : complémentation de « help » et « like » conjonction. Linguistique. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle - Paris III, 2009. Français. ⟨NNT : 2009PA030153⟩. ⟨tel-00909397⟩

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