Remnants of Verb Raising in 19th Century Dialectal Speech
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A corpus study on the retention of verb raising was performed on the novel Mary Barton (Gaskell, 1848) and found that 7.4% of verbs in questions and 3.9% in negation could still be raised to the complementizer phrase (CP) and inflectional (IP), respectively. If the verb-like auxiliaries have, dare and need are included, then the percentage in negation rises to 14.3%. Interestingly, the only examples of V-to-I and I-to-C movement that were found in this study come from lower class speakers. This suggests that verb raising might have been retained longer within this socio-economic class. High frequency verbs such as know and think were raised more often than low frequency verbs. The findings indicate that there is conditioning at both the syntactic environment and lexical level and that verb raising survived long after the loss of verbal morphology, particularly in non-standard (dialect) speech.