Expressions of Future in Present-day English: A Corpus-based Approach

This corpus-based study of the use of expressions of future in English has two aims: to examine how certain expressions of future are used in Present-day English, and to explore how electronic corpora can be exploited for linguistic study.The expressions focused on in this thesis are five auxiliary or semi-auxiliary verb phrases frequently discussed in studies of future reference in English: will, ’ll, shall, going to and gonna. The study examines the patterned ways in which the expressions are used in association with various linguistic and non-linguistic (or extra-linguistic) factors. The linguistic factors investigated are co-occurrence with particular words and co-occurrence with items of particular grammatical classes. The non-linguistic factors examined are medium (written vs. spoken), text category, speaker characteristics (age, sex, social class, etc.), region and time. The data for the study are exclusively drawn from computer-readable corpora of Present-day English. Corpus analyses are performed with automatic and interactive methods, and exploit both quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques.The study finds that the use of these expressions of future varies with a number of factors…


1. Introduction
1.1 Aim and scope
1.2 Expressions of future dealt with in the present study
1.3 Identifying the expressions of future
1.4 Corpora examined
1.5 Tools and methods
1.6 Plan of the thesis
2. Previous research on expressions of future in English
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Is there a future tense in English?
2.3 By what linguistic means is futurity expressed in English?
2.4 How have the expressions of future and their use developed over \time?
2.5 What is the meaning of the expressions of future used in English?
2.5.1 Tense symbolisation: Reichenbach and Close
2.5.2 Speaker’s perspective
2.5.3 Distance in time/relation to present time
2.5.4 Will vs. going to: “elliptical” uses
2.6 Concluding remarks
3. Corpus linguistics as an analytical framework
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Corpus
3.2.1 ‘Corpus’ definitions
3.2.2 Annotation, markup, encoding
3.2.3 Specific issues related to the use of spoken data
3.2.4 Summary: corpu
3.3 Language use
3.4 Choice of texts
3.4.1 Corpora used
3.4.2 Corpus comparability
3.5 Methods of data retrieval and analysis
3.5.1 Data retrieval
3.5.2 Tools used
3.5.3 Analysis
3.5.4 Identifying systematic variatio
3.6 Summary
4. Medium
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Overall frequencies and proportions
4.3 Quoted context in writing
4.3.1 Subset 1: Text categories A and K in LOB and FLOB
4.3.2 Subset 2: Going to in four written corpora
4.3.3 Subset 3: Gonna and going to in the BNC
4.3.4 Conclusions regarding quoted/non-quoted contexts
4.4 Summary
5. Text category
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Written corpora
5.2.1 Overall frequency of expressions of future
5.2.2 Overall proportions of expressions of future
5.2.3 Comparison of hyper-categories
5.2.4 Gonna and going to across text categories in the BNC
5.2.5 Summary: variation in written corpora
5.3 Spoken corpora
5.3.1 Expressions of future in the CG and DS components
5.3.2 Summary: variation in spoken corpora
5.4 Summary
6. Speaker properties
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Speakers’ sex
6.3 Speakers’ age
6.4 Speakers’ social clas
6.5 Speakers’ education
6.6 Multiple variables
6.7 Summary
7. Region
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Variation between British, American, and Indian English
7.2.1 Will
7.2.2 ’ll
7.2.3 Shall
7.2.4 Going to
7.2.5 Gonna
7.3 Variation within national varieties of English
7.4 Summary
8. Time
8.1 Introduction
8.1.1 Press texts
8.1.2 LOB vs. FLOB
8.2 Concluding remarks
9. Linguistic association patterns
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Collocation with word-classes
9.2.1 Collocations with infinitives
9.2.2 Collocations with personal pronouns
9.2.3 Personal pronouns as subjects
9.2.4 Collocations with nouns
9.3 Going to and gonna
9.4 Summary
10. Summary and conclusions
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Association patterns
10.2.1 Will
10.2.2 ’ll
10.2.3 Shall
10.2.4 Going to
10.2.5 Gonna
10.3 Analytical framework
10.3.1 Language use
10.3.2 Choice of text
10.3.3 Methods of data retrieval and analysis
10.4 Concluding remarks
11. References
12. Appendix

Author: Berglund, Ylva

Source: Uppsala University Library

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