English would+have+past-participle' has been involved in a cluster of interesting phenomena:
'Should-ve we acted earlier?
Should-ve we gone in and wiped him [Saddam] out in 1991?' (Heard on radio interview, HS, 2003)
JTB presents quantitative data to show that have is being more 'tightly bound' to would:
This seems to indicate that have is becoming affixed to would which is predictible because this is the most frequently occurring modal before have. The phonetic change (phonological reduction) and the morphosyntactic change are going together, and there is furthermore a cognitive process called chunking which together with the perceptual process of auditory grouping that are the plausible mechanisms for this.
would [have PAST PARTICIPLE...]--> [ would have ] PAST PARTICIPLE...
But we can also get (non-standard)
When should we of taken him out?
This only occurs in writing, since the vowel of of (if there is one at all) is the same as the vowel of 'have' i.e. [@v] (where @ = schwa).
This is common in American non-standard, but also now appearing in British. Result: loss of 'identity' of the AUX 'have' and 'merger' (?) with the modal.
When the conditional is used, even more reduction:
If I had run faster... ---> If I'd a run faster
Americans interpret 'd'a as underlyingly would have but Brits interpret it as had have (Harris 1984). (Discussion about what underlies the schwa here by various sources). Whatever the case, these elements are losing identity as separate pieces, and merging.
Note all the NICE phenomena: (NICE = Negation, Inversion, Code, and Emphasis). (Examples in 7)
One striking inversion is the one I already noted (above):
Various reactions to and attitudes about this in terms of grammaticality. (See pg. 3)
Can also involve fronting of other stuff, e.g. all as in 'But it would've all availed me nothing' instead of 'But it would all have ..." (example from 1840).
This context (would-have) is the only one where 'have' can be contracted. (Gives examples of would-ve vs. starred *Wood-ve . (Proper name Wood).
Also, this contraction occurs sometimes with preterit, not past-participle:
- You should've took precautions.
- You've *took precautions.
Variation in function: the de-categorialization of woulda, coulda, shoulda which seem to be used as Nouns.
Another peculiarity: repeated haves (examples in 14). Perhaps functions of have are splitting, with one incorporated as 'counterfactual' (and attached to would ) and the other for past-marking.
This study is based on advert placement and parentheticals from real usage corpora. The claim that grammaticalization is occurring must be based on data that show frequent usage. Since adverbs can occur "in any slot" we need data that show the choice of slotin normal usage, to show
|SLOT 1||SLOT 2|
Study concentrated on would+have which are more frequent (479) than should+have and could+have (348 combined).
Question: are interruptions more frequent in Slot 1 or in Slot 2?
Summary: the more spontaneous the data, and the more American the data, the more preference for Slot 2 interruptions, in order to maintain the adjacency of would + have at the expense of have and the PPl.
'grammaticalization characteristically transforms non-obligatory patterns into entrenched obligatory patterns.' (Boyland 1998:11)
What would it mean for chunking to be involved in grammaticalization?
'the routinization and compacting of one or more elements that co-occur frequently in a functional context.
'Part of the work of chunking, that is finding what elements belong together, is done already if the elements belong to the same perceptual group.'
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