Laura Esteban-Segura University of Murcia “A diachronic study of the prepositions among and amongst.”
This article is concerned with the usage of the prepositions among and amongst in the history of English. The main objective is to assess whether there is variation between the two forms in previous stages of the language and, if such is the case, to investigate its causes and provide an explanation for it. On the basis of the results, it may be possible to chart any factor(s) influencing the choice of one or the other in Present-Day English, for which several possibilities have been put forward: British vs. American English (Quirk et al. 1985: 666), written vs. oral language, and phonological context (Fowler 1926 : 19). The study draws on a range of corpora, both diachronic (Helsinki Corpus and ARCHER) and synchronic (BNC and COCA).