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Emphasizer now in colloquial South African English

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The British ICE corpus (ICE‐GB) shows that now normally functions as either time adjunct or conjunct in Standard English, and never as subjunct. The South African ICE corpus (ICE‐SA) shows that South African English (SAE) generally conforms to Standard English (StdE) usage, but that a significant minority of instances in colloquial registers show now functioning as subjunct, specifically as emphasizer. These instances conform more or less closely to one or other of two prototypical syntactic patterns, one of which has a clear parallel in Afrikaans and can reasonably be derived directly from Afrikaans. The other, however, is not closely paralleled in Afrikaans, and it appears to be an indigenous SAE development which takes advantage of the potential for emphasis offered by emphasizer now. It appears, therefore, that while it is Afrikaans in origin, emphasizer now has been nativized in SAE.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Languages, University of Port Elizabeth, 30 Alcock Rd, Walmer, 6070 South Africa. Email:, Email: [email protected] 2: School of Languages, North-West University, Potchefstroom, 2520 South Africa. Email:, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 May 2004

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