A Corpus-based Approach on the Development of Conjunction while

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Lee, Binna
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Seoul National University Department of English Language and Literature
SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language 5, 74-89
grammaticaliztionsubjectificationconjunction whileOxford English DictionaryOEDHelsinki Corpus
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development and grammaticalization of the conjunction while in English. Based upon the previous studies, this study examines how the Old English phrasal construction þa hwile þe ‘at the time that’ was reduced later on to the lexical form hwile and ultimately to the conjunction while. Subjectification seems to play a major role in this grammaticalization process, that is, the construction, starting as a mere lexical phrase, undergoes the process to have a new grammatical function as well. A quantitative analysis using the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the Helsinki Corpus will be conducted for the research of the semantic and morphological change of the use of while. The corpus results of this study account for the correlation between the loss of the form hwile and the increase of the form while with the introductory of the supplementary causation function.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU working papers in English language and linguisticsSNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.05 (2006)
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