This thesis looks at the use of the Perfect Progressive in Present-day American English. The overall aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the use of the Perfect Progressive in Present-day American English, and a secondary aim is to shed some more light on this grammatical construction than has previously been done in reference works on the English language.
The research carried out in this thesis is both quantitative and qualitative and the primary source of material is the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The theoretical foundations are based on previous work by grammarians and linguists.
To accommodate the scope and time constraints the focus is placed on three of the five genres found in COCA; Spoken, Fiction and Academic Journals. In addition, three verbs that frequently occur in the Perfect Progressive within these genres, namely work, look and live, were chosen.
The results show that there is a difference in the distribution of the Perfect Progressive depending on genre. There is also a difference in the distribution with regard to tense. In addition, I found that the Perfect Progressive is highly dependent on context for its meaning to come across, in other words, the sentence containing the Perfect Progressive seen in isolation is not always sufficient for the correct interpretation of the intended meaning.