I’m working on a new case study on statistically underrepresented constructions to complement (or perhaps replace) the case study on negative evidence in Section 126.96.36.199 of CLGM. The case study involves perfect progressive passive constructions (inspired by the broader case study on progressive passives in Manfred Krug and Julia Schlüter’s Research Methods in Language Variation and Change, Cambridge, 2013). It is a complex case study and I’m not sure it will lead to anything, but it has yielded a by-product that might make an interesting exercise.
To get a first overview of perfect progressive passives, I did what Krug and Schlüter (and others) have done, and simply queried the BNC for the sequence “been being” (the CQP query I used was ⟨[word=”been”%c] [pos=”AV.”]? [word=”being”%c]⟩, allowing for the potential occurrence of an adverb). This yielded six hits: Continue reading