Swan, Toril: Sentence Adverbials in English
The purpose of the present study is to map the development of English sentence adverbials, and to describe and analyze their use and non-use in Old English, Middle English, and Early and Late Modern English. In addition an attempt is made to show that sentence adverbials have developed from other types of adverbials (primarily intensifiers and manner adverbials) by means of syntactic/pragmatic blends and shifts. Indeed, such shifts are shown to take place in Present-day English as well. The study is based on a corpus of around 9000 pages covering these periods. Only prose texts have been included, though several different genres or categories are represented.