PhD Student

Udo Rohe Freiburg

The Progressive in present-day spoken English: Real-time studies of its spread and functional diversification

ErstbetreuerProf. Dr. Dr. h. c. Christian Mair
ZweitbetreuerProf. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernd Kortmann
DisziplinAnglistik
Beginn Promotion2015
Statusin Bearbeitung

My study seeks to address the following aspects regarding the use and recent development of the progressive construction in spoken British English:

First, is the progressive's frequency increase still under way, or has it finally reached a saturation point? It is hypothesized that a saturation point has indeed been reached in informal Face-to-face Conversation, while other - more formal - spoken genres are expected to exhibit an ongoing frequency increase.

Second, which uses can be identified as the drivers behind the increase? I expect both prototypical uses (most importantly the present progressive active) and less typical uses (e.g. modal progressives or progressives co-occurring with cognition verbs) to contribute to the construction's increasing use. However, it is assumed that the contribution of the prototypical realisations will have a stronger statistical impact than the one of the less typical, supposedly innovative uses.

Third, as Römer (2005) has shown, many aspects of progressive use should not be regarded as purely grammatical but rather as lexical-grammatical phenomena. This is why the second part of my project explicitly focuses on lexically specific patterns of progressive use that keep reoccurring in the corpus data. I assume that - as a result of their comparatively high frequency in specific contexts - many of these patterns will have acquired distinct discourse-pragmatic functions and will have reached a high degree of routinisation.

My project is situated in a usage-based, constructionist framework, approaching the progressive's recent developments from the perspective of Hilpert's (2013) concept of constructional change.

References:

Hilpert, Martin (2013). Constructional change in English: developments in allomorphy, word formation, and syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Römer, Ute (2005). Progressives, Patterns. Pedagogy: A Corpus-Driven Approach to English Progressive Forms, Functions, Contexts, and Didactics. Vol. 18. Studies in Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


Forschungsrichtungenlanguage variation and change, corpus linguistics, construction grammar
Schlüsselwörterprogressive construction, usage-based, frequency effects

Kontakt

Emailudo.rohe@frequenz.uni-freiburg.de
Telefon0761 203 97681
Raum03009
AdresseBelfortstr.18
Freiburg

Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION and PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

July 2016: SFB 1102 "Information Density and Linguistic Encoding", Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Research stay

Since September 2015: Doctoral student, Research training group GRK DFG 1624/1 "Frequency effects in language"

February 2015 - August 2015: Research assistant, English Department, Freiburg University (chair: Christian Mair)

November 2014: Staatsexamen Paedagogy, Heidelberg University

April 2014: Staatsexamen English & Biology, Heidelberg University (major, with distinction)

September 2009 - June 2010: Erasmus, University of Leeds, UK

June 2006: Abitur, Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium Crailsheim

TALKS and PRESENTATIONS

05/2017: "Caught between convention and innovation: The case of the progressive in spoken British English" (talk), ICAME 38, Charles University Prague

04/2017: "A change under its own momentum? The progressive’s frequency increase in spoken British English" (talk), Santiago-Leuven-Edinburgh Seminar "Grammatical Variation and Change in English", University of Leuven

07/2016: "Changing Progressive Use in Contemporary Spoken English – Evidence from a New Corpus of Spoken English" (talk), Department of Applied Linguistics, Translation & Interpreting, Saarland University

06/2016: "A New Corpus of Spoken English - Extending the Diachronic Scope of the DCPSE" (talk), International workshop "Historical Corpus Linguistics: Methods and Applications", SFB 1102: Information Density and Linguistic Encoding, Saarland University

12/2015: "Using the Listening Project for a New Corpus of Spoken English" (poster), International FRIAS & GRK 1624 workshop "Oral History Meets Linguistics", University of Freiburg

TEACHING

"Tense & Aspect" (seminar) Summer Term 2017

OTHER

28/07/2015 - 07/08/2015: European Summer University in Digital Humanities "Culture & Technology", Leipzig University




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