Word classes in the history of English

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The chapter briefly introduces word classes (parts of speech) and corpus linguistics as helpful adjuncts to courses on the history of English, enabling students to find their own examples of phenomena discussed in their course and to test what they are taught. Suitable corpora are listed, and some essential terminology and techniques introduced. Problems are suggested for exploration, including derivation and semantic change, conversion, stepwise change from noun to adjective, and the histories of forms like going to/gonna , might’ve/might of, kind of/kinda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApproaches to teaching the history of the English language
Subtitle of host publicationPedagogy in practice
EditorsMary Hayes, Allison Burkette
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190683429, 9780190611064
ISBN (Print)9780190611040, 9780190611057
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • word class
  • parts of speech
  • tagging
  • history of English
  • corpus linguistics


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