The preposition is of particular interest to syntacticians, historians and sociolinguists of English, as its placement within a sentence is influenced by syntactic and sociolinguistic constraints, and by how the 'rules' regarding prepositions have changed over time, as a result of language change, of change in attitudes towards language, and of processes such as standardization. This book investigates preposition placement in the early and late Modern English periods (1500-1900), with a special focus on preposition stranding (The house which I live in) in opposition to pied piping (The house in which I live). Based on a large-scale analysis of precept and usage data, this study reassesses the alleged influence of late eighteenth-century normative works on language usage. It also sheds new light on the origins of the stigmatisation of preposition stranding. This study will be of interest to scholars working on syntax and grammar, corpus linguistics, historical linguistics and sociolinguistics.
Grammar, Rhetoric and Usage in English
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