Now and then et every now and then : périodicité et pondérations quantitatives et qualitatives

Anne Trévise, Helen Paterson

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Abstract :
The article examines three common coordinated expressions which express periodicity in English : now and then, every now and then, et here and there. An analysis of usage, based on BNC data, shows that now and then appears in neutral descriptions, revealing a quantitative approach to periodicity. The addition of every, producing every now and then, diminishes the notion of frequency and introduces qualitative considerations. The expressions occur in argumentational contexts in which the utterer hedges or excuses a deviation from the norm or makes reference to sporadic, sometimes rare, events. Here and there serves similar purposes when applied to a temporal framework, also providing a qualitative bias. Based on these observations, several hypotheses are ventured as to the functioning of such a system within the English language.
Published : 2006-05-31

Citation

Anne Trévise, Helen Paterson, « Now and then et every now and then : périodicité et pondérations quantitatives et qualitatives », Cycnos, 2006-05-31. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/681