Chapter published in:Changing Structures: Studies in constructions and complementation
Edited by Mark Kaunisto, Mikko Höglund and Paul Rickman
[Studies in Language Companion Series 195] 2018
► pp. 89–107
Complementation of ashamed – diachrony and determinants of variation
The present chapter will contribute to the area of English complementation studies by investigating the adjective ashamed. The study focuses on the diachronic development of the use of ashamed during the past two centuries in different environments, and the variation between two rivalling non-finite complements, to infinitive and of -ing. The data was collected from COHA and COCA. The results show that since the 1870s ashamed has been used less and less, and that it occurs nowadays regularly without a complement whereas in the 19th century the to infinitive complement was common. The of -ing complement is not used much, but some contexts such as negation or copula in the complement clause were observed to attract this complement type.
Keywords: complementation, adjective, ashamed , corpus, diachrony
Published online: 22 May 2018
2008– The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): 520 million words, 1990-2015. http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/
2010– The Corpus of Historical American English: 400 million words, 1810–2009. http://corpus.byu.edu/coha/
De Smet, Hendrik
Havu, Jukka & Höglund, Mikko
Herbst, Thomas, Heath, David, Roe, Ian F. & Götz, Dieter
Huddleston, Rodney & Pullum, Geoffrey K.
1980 Accustomed to swim; accustomed to swimming: On verbal forms after TO. In ALVAR: A Linguistically Varied Assortment of Readings. Studies Presented to Alvar Ellegård on the Occasion of his 60th Birthday [Stockholm Papers in English Language and Literature 1], Jens Allwood & Magnus Ljung (eds), 75–99. Stockholm: University of Stockholm, Department of English.
OED Oxford English Dictionary, online edn. May 2017
2014 A new angle on infinitival and of -ing complements of afraid, with evidence from the TIME Corpus. In Corpus Interrogation and Grammatical Patterns [Studies in Corpus Linguistics 63], Kristin Davidse, Caroline Gentens, Lobke Ghesquière & Lieven Vandelanotte (eds), 223–238. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Van linden, An.
Van linden, An & Davidse, Kristin