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  • The discourse marker LIKE:

    a corpus‐based analysis of selected

    varieties of English

    Dissertation zur Erlangung des Grades des Doktors der Philosophie bei der Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften

    Fachbereich Sprache, Literatur, Medien & Europäische Sprachen und Literaturen der Universität Hamburg

    Überarbeitete Version

    vorgelegt von

    Martin Schweinberger aus Bad Karlshafen Hamburg, Juni 2014

      

  • Hauptgutachter: Prof. Dr. Peter Siemund Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Markku Filppula Datum der Disputation: 30.09.2011

    Abgenommen von der Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften der Universität Hamburg am: 02.11.2011

    Veröffentlichung mit Genehmigung der Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften der Universität Hamburg am: 03.09.2014

  • Martin Schweinberger

    ii

    Acknowledgments

    This book is the result of research conducted during my work at the University of Hamburg. My warmest thanks for his support go to Prof. Peter Siemund, my supervisor – without him this book would have been impossible and to whom I am deeply indepted for his support. The many people within the University who have made this an extraordinary fruitful work environment through their collegial support, fruitful exchange of ideas, and their friendship are too numerous to mention, but among them, Florian Dolberg, Georg Maier, Thomas Berg, Suzanne Flach, Tayo Takada, Patrick McCrae and Svenja Kranich stand out.

    Much of the book is based on data taken from the International Corpus of English (ICE) and the sociolinguistic approach taken here would not have been possible without having been granted access to the wealth of extra‐linguistic information not yet available to the wider scholarly community. My gratitude is thus due to all those ICE teams which supported my research. I am also indebted to the Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung for kindly granting additional financial support, which enabled me to take part in conferences and work‐shops which I would otherwise not have been able to attend.

    In addition, I am grateful to The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Richard Dawkins, Thunderf00t, Pharyngula, Point of Inquiry, The Atheist Experience, and Aronra for promoting science and skeptical thinking. They have entertained me during endless hours of coding data, running statistical models and editing this book, as well as educating me on the scientific method and illustrating how easily one can be deceived, not only by others but also by oneself.

    Last but not least, my family, in particular my parents Erika and Klaus, my brother Enno, my grandmothers Charlotte and Anna, and my daughter Zoe Milena deserve special thanks for their support and love, which has carried me along what has at times been a difficult passage.

  • The discourse marker LIKE: a corpus‐based analysis of selected varieties of English

    i

    Table of Contents

    1  Introduction ........................................................................................................... 1 

    2  Language change and variation ..................................................................... 10 

    2.1  Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 10  2.2  Language change .................................................................................................................. 11  2.3  Globalization, local practice and the diffusion of LIKE ......................................... 13  2.4  Sociolinguistic variation and change ........................................................................... 19  2.4.1  Real‐time and apparent‐time ................................................................................ 25  2.4.2  Social class .................................................................................................................... 31  2.4.3  Gender ............................................................................................................................ 35  2.4.4  Identity, prestige and style ..................................................................................... 40  2.4.5  Traditional dialectology and the modern variationist paradigm ........... 44 

    2.5  Synopsis ................................................................................................................................... 47 

    3  Discourse markers: Definition, features, and origin ............................. 48 

    3.1  Discourse markers .............................................................................................................. 48  3.1.1  Features of discourse markers ............................................................................. 53 

    3.2  Synopsis ................................................................................................................................... 58 

    4  Overview of previous research on LIKE ..................................................... 59 

    4.1  The history of LIKE ............................................................................................................. 59  4.1.1  Grammaticalization ................................................................................................... 59  4.1.2  The grammaticalization of LIKE .......................................................................... 63  4.1.3  Interim synopsis ......................................................................................................... 69 

    4.2  The development of LIKE ................................................................................................. 69  4.3  Spread or parallel development? .................................................................................. 73  4.4  LIKE across varieties of English ..................................................................................... 77  4.5  Attitudes toward LIKE ....................................................................................................... 87  4.6  The syntax of LIKE ............................................................................................................... 90  4.7  The discourse‐pragmatic functions of LIKE ............................................................. 93  4.7.1  Clause‐internal LIKE ................................................................................................. 96  4.7.2  Clause‐external LIKE .............................................................................................. 113 

    4.8  Synopsis ................................................................................................................................. 118 

    5  Data and methodology ................................................................................... 120 

  • Martin Schweinberger

    ii

    5.1  Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 120  5.2  What does local implementation entail for LIKE? ................................................ 122  5.3  Research questions ........................................................................................................... 124  5.4  Central hypotheses............................................................................................................ 126  5.4.1  Hypothesis 1: LIKE is a marker of teenage speech ..................................... 126  5.4.2  Hypothesis 2: LIKE as a marker of female speech ...................................... 127  5.4.3  Hypothesis 3: The universality of the Labovian model ............................ 128  5.4.4  Hypothesis 4: Diffusion and stratification ..................................................... 129  5.4.5  Hypothesis 5: LIKE use is modified during local implementation ....... 130 

    5.5  Data sources ......................................................................................................................... 131  5.5.1  Introduction ............................................................................................................... 131  5.5.2  The ICE family of corpora ..................................................................................... 133 

    5.6  Data processing .................................................................................................................. 137  5.7  Data editing .......................................................................................................................... 139  5.7.1  Types of LIKE ............................................................................................................. 145 

    5.8  Description and motivation of variables .................................................................. 153  5.8.1  Dependent variables ............................................................................................... 153  5.8.2  Independent variables ........................................................................................... 154  5.8.3  Regional variety (VAR) .......................................................................................... 156  5.8.4  Gender (SEX) .............................................................................................................. 157  5.8.5  Age (AGE) .........................................................................