Light verbs in Australian, New Zealand and British English

Adam Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This paper examines regional and register differences in the use of the light verbs give, have, make and take across British, Australian, New Zealand and American English, to see whether statements in the literature such as the US preference for take can be supported. Primary and secondary materials were investigated, in the form of L1 and L2 dictionaries across the regions, and data from the ICE corpora for Britain, Australia and NZ. The dictionary data only partially confirmed regional differences between take and have, while the corpora showed a growing use of the light verb have, with Australian and New Zealand English leading the way. The corpora also demonstrated more frequent and more productive use of the construction in spoken than in written data, which allowed conclusions to be drawn about the interpersonal functions of light verbs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationComparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English
    Subtitle of host publicationgrammar and beyond
    EditorsPam Peters, Peter Collins, Adam Smith
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam; Philadelphia
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027289407
    ISBN (Print)9789027248992
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Publication series

    NameVarieties of English Around the World
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    ISSN (Print)0172-7362




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