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. 109–128
Sentential complementation of propose in recent British English
This article examines the sentential complementation of propose from 1780 to the 1990s. The study is based on previous research on the use of the verb in the Corpus of Late Modern English Texts and the British National Corpus. The focus of the article is on control theory, and it tracks changes in the complement patterns and control structure of propose. The examination of the corpora shows that throughout the data, the to-infinitive is the most frequent complement of propose, followed by the that-clause and ‑ing clause. The to-infinitive has increased its proportion at the expense of other patterns. The control structure of propose is complex, as it allows subject, object, PP object as well as unspecified control, the latter increasing in use. The data indicate that most changes occur between 1780 and 1920, reinforcing the idea that the Late Modern English period was a time of significant change in the complementation systems of many predicates.
Keywords: English, corpus linguistics, complementation, control, propose
Published online: 22 May 2018
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