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Recent changes in relative clauses in spoken British English

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>English Studies
Issue number7
Volume96
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)818-838
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This article explores the recent changes in relative clauses in spoken British English on the basis of the Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) to find out whether the changes in speech have proceeded in parallel with those in writing over a span of thirty years in the second half of the twentieth century. The distribution patterns and rates of change of relative clauses across different spoken text categories are also investigated. It is found that relative clauses have experienced a pattern of change in spoken British English which is comparable to that in writing, with an overall higher rate of change in speech than in writing. The distribution of relative pronouns is influenced by text categories. While all text categories generally show a similar pattern of change, informal text categories seem to display a greater rate of change than formal text categories.