Jane Austen's peculiarity
richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Sat Sep 12 14:58:44 EDT 2015
I am wondering whether this is a relevant point or not,but, here goes
I am looking for occurrences of BE + Past Participle in on-passive,
intransitive constructions, with examples such as:
*I am arrived*, *He is become*, *She is returned* in publicly available
versions of English literature 'standards' [no, not going to get
distracted by what constitutes a canon here].
These constructions were displaced over the period 1750-1850 by *I have
arrived*, *He has arrived* and *She has returned* respectively.
This is for thinking up reasons why this grammatical change may have
taken place (or a syntactic rather than grammatical change),
and whether English writers (and non-English writers such as Walter
Scott, who wrote in English contemporaneously) were inherently
conservative. There is a possibility that Dr Snezha Tsoneva-Mathewson
(my wife) could construct a model inwith the framework of
Cognitive Grammar to explain how this change may have taken place.
This should be relatively easy using LiveCode, and it is, except for one
thing: searching through an *html* text loaded into a textField
for the relevant constructions is *far, far slower* than doing the same
thing by opening the documents in Firefox and doing a 'find' operation.
Of course one cannot put the results into a 'sexy' colour-coded
textField when one uses Firefox.
Now, possibly I am being a bit foolish expecting LiveCode to crunch its
way through textFields (even if, as some helpful people
on this list suggested, /they are loaded into variables/) looking for
strings faster than Firefox (a dedicated html-thing) does.
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