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The semantic properties of going to: distribution patterns in four subcorpora of the British National Corpus

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Chapter Summary

In this paper the authors analyse how the intentional and predictive uses of the going to construction can be seen to vary between different types of discourse, as found in BNC Baby, four one-million-word subcorpora from the British National Corpus. Selected collocational patterns of the construction are also examined. As expected, results show that the overall frequency of the construction varies considerably between the text categories examined (newspapers, fiction, academic discourse and spoken conversation). Further interesting findings are made when this difference is put in relation to the predictive vs. intentional uses and the outcome of the collocational analyses. It is shown how the choice of main verb used relates to the distribution of intentional vs. predictive uses. Person and number are also taken into consideration as factors influencing the predictive vs. intentional ratios. Differences in semantic distribution patterns are also observed when gonna is used with respect to going to.



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