This is a paper that has to be written in diachronic syntax, intergrating a comparison of occurences of do support in Early Modern English. These are the class instructions ( that will also be uploaded ) :
For a study of the syntax of do in EModE, it is best to divide the data into different categories of clauses types, i.e.
(ii) Negative imperative clauses.
(iii)Interrogative clauses, with at least one additional division into
a. Negative questions. b. Affirmative questions.
Some issues that you could consider (N.B. Points 1, 2 and 3 are essential; 4 is entirely optional; plus:
There might be additional issues that are not mentioned here): (1) For all these clause types, the main issue is the use or non-use of do with main verbs. (N.B.Clauses with auxiliaries other than do (auxiliary have/be, modals) are irrelevant because they never co-occur with do and they are therefore not affected by this change) I.e. is periphrastic do used where it would be obligatory in PDE or is it absent in such contexts? Quantitative and qualitative issues should be addressed, in particular:
(a) What is the frequency of use of do in the different clause types? I.e. count uses of do and calculate the percentage of the total of contexts where do would be obligatory in PDE.
(b) Compare contexts in which do is used to contexts in which do is not used (the latter contrary to PDE syntax). Are there any features that distinguish them, e.g. the characters producing the sentences in a play, or the type of verb that is used etc. (cf. e.g. Haeberli & Ihsane 2016, p. 25 (section 4) for some verbs that frequently occur without do in other texts– I will upload the article)?
N.B. This is simply a natural research question that arises when one is looking at variation. I.e. when two options are available, are there any factors determining their use? This does not imply that there must be a positive answer to this question. A negative answer would also be a relevant research finding.
(2) Compare your two texts. Does the use of do-support differ and, if so, in what way? ( I have chosen Shakespear\’s Much Ado about Nothing; and John Milton\’s Paradise Lost — will upload both texts, and the HITS from EEBO on do / do not)
(3) What is the status of your texts compared to other texts from the same period(s)? Cf. e.g. the frequencies provided by Haeberli and Ihsane (2016:25) for negative clauses and Han (2000:278) for different contexts (based on Ellegård 1953).– I have and can upload both of these articles.
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