The aim of this paper is to explain the development of the expletive there in there+be construction on the basis of the data from the Helsinki Corpus. Despite extensive studies done by Nagashima and Breivik, the period of the establishment and the process of the regulation are still in controversy. Classifying the data according to eight different types of there+be constructions, we assume the three stages for the change of there. On that assumption, we are going to clarify when, how and why there+be construction with non-referring there has become so widespread as it is in Present-day English.
This paper argues that the verb help has the function of a semi-auxiliary. When the verb help is followed by an infinitive, it appears in four sentence types, as shown in (i)-(iv) below. (i) John helped Mary to wash the dishes. (ii) John helped Mary wash the dishes. (iii) John helped to wash the dishes. (iv) John helped wash the dishes. In the types (iii) and (iv), we sometimes find a sentence in which the subject of help is identical with the implicit infinitival subject not only in Present-day but also in earlier English. This usage of help satisfies Kajita's (1968) defining characteristics of a semi-auxiliary. In the sentence where help has developed the function of a semi-auxiliary, it is suggested that the central meaning of help ‘to aid, to assist’ has changed to the marginal meaning ‘to serve’.
In the last few decades, there has been an increasing number of studies on speech in novels. Those studies have mainly focused on a discussion of the reported clause while few systematic attempts have so far been made at the analysis of the reporting clause. The types of the reporting clause differ from century to century, from register to register, and from writer to writer. Even the same writer may possibly employ different types of the reporting clause in different works, aiming at certain stylistic effects. From a stylistic point of view, therefore, the reporting clause is worthy of a careful examination in that it can be a clue to a better understanding of a writer's art and technique. Eighteenth century prose fiction as a whole seems to offer a less elaborate presentation of speech with fewer reporting clause variations than that in later centuries. An extensive survey of Fielding's Joseph Andrews, however, has drawn our attention to a relatively abundant variety of reporting clauses along with his skillful rendering of speech. The purpose of this article is to analyze comprehensively the structure and function of reporting clauses in Fielding's Joseph Andrews. With a comparative discussion of some of his contemporary novels, we hope to explore a little further into Fielding's characteristic features, as well as to grasp the type of the reporting clause used most commonly in those days.