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Circumstantial adverbials in discourse: a synchronic and a diachronic perspective

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Chapter Summary

This study discusses adverbials of circumstance introduced by the grammaticalised connectives seeing and considering in electronic corpora ranging from those on Presentday English (British National Corpus, BNC; International Corpus of English - Great Britain, ICE-GB) to diachronic corpora (Helsinki Corpus of Older Scots, HCOS; Corpus of Scottish Correspondence, CSC; Corpus of Early English Medical Writing, CEEM). We claim that it is relevant to distinguish ‘circumstance’ from other semantic roles of contingency. Chiefly because of their thematic potential, circumstantial adverbials can be used in specific functions in genres as different from one another as ‘letter’ and ‘medical treatise’.



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