Tough question: When did NSEs start using auxiliaries...

Marcio_Farias 1 24 213
... (do/does, will/shall, can/could, would, should) to form interrogative questions for the first time? I did some net searches for that, but, alas, I found nothing on it. Do the forum users know?

Thank you.

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5 respostas
Flavia.lm 1 10 96
Hi Marcio

What does NSE stand for? Native speakers of English?

Anyway, Alessandro once wrote "A gramática nada mais é do que uma tentativa de documentar as regras de um idioma. Mas como documentar algo que não surgiu a partir de regras claras? Deve ser por isso que existem tantas exceções."

I assume we'll never have an answer to your question.
maryziller 1 2
Marcio_Farias escreveu:... (do/does, will/shall, can/could, would, should) to form interrogative questions for the first time? I did some net searches for that, but, alas, I found nothing on it. Do the forum users know?

Thank you.
An interesting question.
http://www-sop.inria.fr/miaou/tralics/t ... hesis.html says that the ancestors of modal verbs existed in Old English already. They have a preterite origin.

These links show when some modals appeared. 1300 for some. But no information on when they began being used as interrogatives is given.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?sea ... hmode=none
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?sea ... hmode=none
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?sea ... hmode=none
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?sea ... hmode=none

This link to New directions in English historical grammar is not available unless you have a paid subscription, but if your library can get it through interlibrary loan, it may provide sources for further research.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/kp331x4n4gp1t6uq/

"Old English (Englisc, Anglisc, Ænglisc) or Anglo-Saxon[1] is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written in parts of what are now England and south-eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. What survives through writing represents primarily the literary register of Anglo-Saxon....Questions
Because of its similarity with Old Norse, it is believed that the word order of Old English changed when asking a question, from SVO to VSO; i.e. swapping the verb and the subject.

'I am...' becomes 'Am I...?'
'Ic eom...' becomes 'Eom ic...'?"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English
Marcio_Farias 1 24 213
Flavia.lm escreveu:Hi Marcio

What does NSE stand for? Native speakers of English? [...]
Flavia.Im, yes, a convenient abbreviation for "native speakers of English."

***

Mary Ziller, good pointers. These shed considerable light on the functioning of the English language. Thank you very much!
Donay Mendonça 23 107 1.6k
Marcio,

I believe that it happens when you start needing them or you have no better options...

"When did the Portuguese start using so many conjugations?" or "Why do the Chinese have such an unusual way of speaking?"


All the best,
Marcio_Farias 1 24 213
Good question, donay.

IMHO the Portuguese started inflecting their words as Portuguese itself derived directly from gender- and verb-inflected Latin. Circa 13th century.

As to "Why do the Chinese have such an unusual way of speaking?" let's also ask the Chinese when they started having it.

:)