The mandative subjunctive

William J. Crawford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


Introduction It has been repeatedly illustrated that the mandative subjunctive (e.g. He demanded that I be there on time) has seen a re-emergence in different varieties of English (Turner 1980 for British English, Övergaard 1995 for British and American English, Peters 1998 for Australian English). Some studies have shown the subjunctive to be alive and well and living (primarily) in American English (Övergaard 1995, Albakry and Crawford 2004) or that American English is leading in its revitalization and that British English is ‘lagging behind’ (Hundt 1998b: 171). These studies have reached the general consensus that American English prefers the subjunctive form (e.g. They suggested that he be reprimanded) while British English favours the modal construction (They suggested that he should be reprimanded). The present chapter is also concerned with describing subjunctive contrasts in British and American English through a close examination of a finite set of words (i.e. subjunctive triggers) which co-occur with the subjunctive. The focus of this chapter is not wholly concerned with whether American English has more subjunctives than British English or whether British English uses more modal forms than American English; instead, this chapter illustrates the distributional differences of complement clause types in both American and British English in a fairly large corpus of news writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOne Language, Two Grammars?
Subtitle of host publicationDifferences between British and American English
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780511551970
ISBN (Print)9780521872195
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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