In this article we review recent work on the history of French negation in relation to three key issues in socio-historical linguistics: identifying appropriate sources, interpreting scant or anomalous data, and interpreting generational differences in historical data. We then turn to a new case study, that of verbal agreement with la plupart, to see whether this can shed fresh light on these issues. We argue that organising data according to the author’s date of birth is methodologically sounder than according to date of publication. We explore the extent to which different genres and text types reflect changing patterns of usage and suggest that additional, different case-studies are required in order to make more secure generalisations about the reliability of different sources.
|Number of pages||29|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|