PL EN


2012 | 1 | 65-74
Article title

Shall in Present-Day English

Authors
Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The paper aims at presenting the contemporary usage of the verb shall in Modern English. The traditional principles governing the usage of shall constitute a complex paradigm in which the implications of different forms change according to the person of the subject. The statistics show that the verb shall experienced a dramatic fall in frequency of use between the early 1960s and 1990s. The author is aiming at presenting the evolution of the verb shall throughout the centuries, its reorganization and the way it has altered. The Old English shall expressed obligation/necessity whereas the Middle English usage indicated to the predicative element of the verb in question. Furthermore, the author explores the difference in application between will and shall. The semantic shift of 'shall' appears to be a natural consequence of the competition it lost to will. Moreover, in 'shall' seems to be retracting to the narrow niche of seldom usage. The article also indicates to the use of shall in present-day English both in American and British varieties. In American English, which is commonly assumed to be more advanced and open to change than British English, 'shall' seems to survive in the contexts where it expresses deontic meaning.
Keywords
Contributors
  • University of Wrocław
References
  • Bolinger, Dwight (1980) Language. The Loaded Weapon. London: Longman.
  • Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins, William Pagliuca (1994) The Evolution of Grammar. Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Bybee, Joan, Suzanne Fleischman (1995) Modality in Grammar and Discourse. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Coates, Jennifer (1983) The Semantics of the Modal Auxiliaries. London, Canberra: Croom Helm.
  • Collins, Peter (2009) Modals and Quasi-Modals in English. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  • Givón, Talmy (1993) English Grammar: A Function-Based Introduction. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Haspelmath, Martin (2004) “On Directionality in Language Change with Particular Reference to Grammaticalisation.” [In:] Olga Fischer, Muriel Norde, Harry Perridon (eds.) Up and Down the Cline – The Nature of Grammaticalisation. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins; 17–44.
  • Heine, Bernd (1995) “Agent-oriented vs. Epistemic Modality. Some Observations on German Modals.” [In:] Joan Bybee, Suzanne Fleischman (eds.) Modality in Grammar and Discourse. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins; 17–53.
  • Hopper, Paul, Elizabeth Traugot (1993) Grammaticalisation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Krug, Manfred G. (2000) Emerging English Modals. A Corpus-Based Study of Grammaticalisation. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Lowth, Robert (1775) A Short Introduction to English Grammar: With Critical Notes. London.
  • Mair, Christian, Geoffrey Neil Leech (2006) “Current Changes in English Syntax.” [In:] Bas Aarts, April McMahon (eds.) Handbook of English Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwel; 318–342.
  • Norde, Muriel (2001) “Deflexion as a Counterdirectional Factor in Grammatical Change.” [In:] Language Sciences 23; 231–264.
  • Norde, Muriel (2009) Degrammaticalisation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Palmer, Frank (2001) Mood and Modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sweetser, Eve E. (1990) From Etymology to Pragmatics. Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Traugott, Elizabeth (1972) The History of English Syntax. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  • Traugott, Elizabeth (1989) “On the Rise of Epistemic Meanings in English: An Example of Subjectification in Semantic Change.” [In:] Language 65 (1), 31–55.
  • Visser, Fredericus T. (1969) An Historical Syntax of the English Language. Leiden: Brill.
  • Davies, Mark (2007) TIME Magazine Corpus (100 million words, 1920s-2000s). Available online at: http://corpus.byu.edu/time.
  • Davies, Mark (2008) The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): 400+ million words, 1990-present. Available online at: http://www.americancorpus.org
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-34ce1cc1-4998-4c1c-a443-e3a2dbc9c4c1
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.