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urn_nbn_fi_uef-20110028

urn_nbn_fi_uef-20110028

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“Clara Basil is the most strangest person I know”
 
Double Comparison in British and American English
– 
frequency and perceptions
Hanna Maria Nissinen 170100
Master‟s Thesis
 English Language and CultureSchool of HumanitiesUniversity of Eastern FinlandSeptember, 2010
 
 iCONTENTS1. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ 12. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ...................................................................................... 42.1 Comparison in general .................................................................................................... 42.1.1 Inflectional and periphrastic comparison ................................................................. 52.1.2 Comparative clauses ................................................................................................ 82.2 Comparison in Old English and Middle English .......................................................... 122.3 Double comparison ....................................................................................................... 142.4 Introduction to British and American English .............................................................. 212.4.1 Some grammatical differences ............................................................................... 252.4.2 Some lexical differences ........................................................................................ 283. METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................. 313.1 The BNC ....................................................................................................................... 313.2 The COCA .................................................................................................................... 333.3 Queries .......................................................................................................................... 343.4 Questionnaire ................................................................................................................ 354. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ......................................................................................... 384.1 Results of the corpus-based study ................................................................................. 384.2 Results of the questionnaire .......................................................................................... 515. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................... 64REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 66APPENDIX 1 .......................................................................................................................... 70APPENDIX 2 .......................................................................................................................... 73SUOMENKIELINEN TIIVISTELMÄ ................................................................................... 76
 
 11. INTRODUCTION
What could be more quicker and easier and more effective than that?
The comparison of adjectives can be tricky, as can be seen from the sentence above. TheEnglish language contains two different ways of forming a comparison, and this cansometimes cause mix-ups. Since the regular use of comparison has already been studied ingreat detail, I am more interested in taking a look at the irregular, the non-standard way of comparing an adjective. This area of linguistics has not been very popular among linguisticsand researchers, therefore there have not been not many studies against which I couldcompare my results. However, I find this subject very interesting and worth researching.The objective of this study is to investigate the use of double comparison in British andAmerican English in order to discover whether there are differences and similarities in theusage. The research will be conducted in two parts: first, I will conduct a corpus-based studywhich compares the two varieties of English, and after that I will study British and American
native speakers‟ opinions on double comparison using a ques
tionnaire. Before conducting thestudy I will establish a solid theoretical background for the present research by introducingthe main features of comparison and some aspects of British and American English. Thefocus of the theoretical part of this paper is mainly historical, since most of the previousresearch on this field has concentrated on the historical development of the doublecomparison. However, since I am mainly interested in the modern usage of doublecomparison, I will use modern corpora, the British National Corpus (the BNC) and the

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