The use of heaps as quantifier and intensifier in New Zealand English
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Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15555
This article documents novel uses of the noun heaps in New Zealand English, namely as quantifier and intensifier, by means of quantitative and qualitative analyses of corpus data. Closely following in the footsteps of lots, heaps is the second most frequent size noun in New Zealand English. On the basis of exhaustive coding of four corpora of New Zealand English (spoken and written), the article describes and exemplifies the various uses of heaps in this English variety. Results show heaps is preferred in speech compared to writing, and that its most common use is as a quantifier, followed by an extension to an intensifying use, which has received comparatively less attention in the literature (and never specifically in the context of New Zealand English). An examination of early New Zealand English in the ONZE Corpus testifies to this incoming change, with heaps grammaticalizing into an adverb and bearing the semantic role of intensifier. Multivariate statistical tests show that innovative uses of heaps are largely driven by younger speakers.
Cambridge University Press
This is an author’s preprint version of an article published in the journal: English Language & Linguistics. © 2017 Cambridge University Press. CC BY-NC-ND. All Rights Reserved.