Obviously undergoing change: Adverbs of evidentiality across time and space

Tagliamonte, S. A. and Smith, J. (2021) Obviously undergoing change: Adverbs of evidentiality across time and space. Language Variation and Change, 33(1), pp. 81-105. (doi: 10.1017/S0954394520000216)

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Increasingly globalized communication networks in the modern world may influence traditional patterns of linguistic change: in contrast to an orderly sequential pathway of change, more recently a number of “mega trends” have been identified, which accelerate simultaneously in time and space. The rise of obviously within the cohort of adverbs of evidentiality—naturally, evidently, clearly, and of course—may be one such trend. To examine this possibility, we conduct a large-scale sociolinguistic analysis of c12,000 adverbs of evidentiality across over thirty communities in the UK and Canada. The results reveal parallel development across time and space: obviously advances rapidly among individuals born in the 1960s in both countries. The rise of obviously illustrates key attributes that are beginning to emerge from other rapidly innovating features: “off the shelf” changes that (1) are easily borrowed, (2) receptive to global trends, but (3) exhibit parallel patterns as the change progresses.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Jennifer
Authors: Tagliamonte, S. A., and Smith, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Language Variation and Change
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1469-8021
Published Online:28 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s), 2021
First Published:First published in Language Variation and Change 33(1):81-105
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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