By W. E. Crum

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She examined data from Dutch and German (Hausmann 1974) child language to show that periphrastic do is a common strategy employed by "West Germanic children" in their language acquisition process. 11 TiekenBoon van Ostade argues further that since the construction was originally only part of child language, adult speakers would not use it, especially not in written texts. This would explain the lack of examples of periphrastic do in OE and EME. e. the auxiliary do was used to enable the infinitive of the lexical verb to appear in the verse-final position.

He concludes that whilst the auxiliary was originally only a habituality marker, periphrastic do spreads so that it is "in 'free variation' with the simple tenses" (Weltens 1983: 62). Similar results were found by Ihalainen (1976) in his investigation of East Somerset English. In a recent article, Klemola investigated these claims of habitual do in SW English and found that in the present tense "no evidence could be detected in the data to show that the form would be restricted to a habitual function" (Klemola 1998: 51) whereas for the past tense, "[t]he conclusion must be that not even the periphrastic did form is 30 The Distribution of Auxiliary Tun used exclusively as a marker of habitual aspect in the three corpora [of SW English] investigated, although past habitual is the dominant semantic environment where this grammatical construction is used in the dialect" (Klemola 1998: 51).

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