Positive anymore in American English
Calleja Flores, Yera
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Positive anymore in American English (Language of the TFG: English) Abstract: The use of anymore that is more widespread in the English-speaking world is the negative one, that is, an adverb that co-occurs with some negative expression in the clause. However, in some parts of the English-speaking world, anymore is also used in non-negative linguistic contexts. This positive usage of the word anymore that is usually restricted to negative environments has been the focus of study of many researchers. From its meaning to the restrictions that operate on its use, to the socio-cultural distribution, to the way it may evolve in the future, different hypotheses have been proposed through the years. Nevertheless, the random responses given by participants have made it difficult for researchers to validate hypotheses about this non-mainstream usage. This study aims to analyze those hypotheses. First, I examine negation in English and what concerns to the usage of negative anymore. Second, I introduce positive anymore and the two main issues that have been studied about it: different interpretations of positive anymore (i.e. nowadays, lately and from now on) and the debate among linguists on whether there is one unique pan-dialectal anymore or we are talking about two different lexical items. In other words, whether the anymore used in negative and positive sentences is the same lexical item and only differs in meaning and the restrictions that operate on its use depending on the context or, on the contrary, they are independent lexical items with different meanings and restrictions operating on its use. Third, this study analyzes the conditions on the use of positive anymore: its syntactic distribution as well as its semantic conditions. Fourth, the current usage of positive anymore is tackled and, finally, this paper has a look at other non-mainstream constructions to some extent similar to positive anymore. There are still many sides of positive anymore to be researched and hypotheses to be verified and accepted. For future studies it would be interesting to keep an eye on positive anymore as the course of this lexical element is still unknown. Whether it will undergo any changes in the future and whether it will settle and spread towards more areas in the U.S. or it will disappear for good is yet to be seen.