The progressive versus non-progressive alternation: A semantic exploration across World Englishes
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CitationDeshors, Sandra C. Rautionaho, Paula. (2018). The progressive versus non-progressive alternation: A semantic exploration across World Englishes. English World-Wide, 39 (3) , 309-337. 10.1075/eww.00016.des.
This corpus-based study focuses on the alternation between progressive and non-progressive constructions in native and non-native varieties. We adopt a quantitative-qualitative approach starting with a collostructional analysis of the two constructions to assess association strengths between lexical verbs, semantic domains and Aktionsart categories on the one hand, and progressive and non-progressive constructions on the other hand. We then explore the constructions semantically and qualitatively. Overall, associations between the two constructions and Achievements and Accomplishments on the one hand, and semantic domains other than Activity or Existence on the other, do not unanimously influence writers’ constructional choices. Further, there may not be one single core meaning of the progressive, but rather a complex of meanings activated by the use of the progressive construction. Ultimately, we paint a multifaceted picture of the meanings of the progressive and show the benefit of combining quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore constructional semantics across Englishes.