Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Discovering new verb-preposition combinations in New Englishes


Schneider, Gerold; Zipp, Lena (2013). Discovering new verb-preposition combinations in New Englishes. Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English, 13:online.

Abstract

The grammatical description of New Englishes is a relatively young field but at the same time one that benefitted much from recent developments in corpus linguistics. Standard reference corpora such as the International Corpus of English (ICE) have made it possible to research grammatical phenomena even in smaller outer circle varieties of English. In the field of grammar, innovations typically start out at the intersection of grammar and lexis. We investigate verb-preposition combinations in four corpora of first and second language varieties of English, among them the preliminary version of the written component of ICE Fiji. Our focus is on what has been termed ‘new prepositional verbs’ (cf. Mukherjee 2009, Nesselhauf 2009), i.e. novel combinations of verbs and prepositions.

We compare a manual and a semi-automated approach to the study of new verb-preposition combinations. The manual approach consists of a surface search for prepositions followed by a careful manual filtering process. The semi-automated approach is a corpus-driven investigation using parsed corpora and detecting variation-specific prepositional collocations. Typically, the advantage of manual searches is that precision is very high; the disadvantage is that the investigation is time-consuming and recall can be incomplete, because the scope of investigations may have to be restricted. The advantage of automatic, parse-based methods is that they are fast and corpus-driven, which may increase recall; the disadvantage is that error-rates are high, which seriously affects precision. We discuss similarities and differences in the results of the two approaches and show examples of new verb-preposition combinations from ICE India and ICE Fiji that the two approaches deliver. We conclude that both methods validate, but also complement each other.

Abstract

The grammatical description of New Englishes is a relatively young field but at the same time one that benefitted much from recent developments in corpus linguistics. Standard reference corpora such as the International Corpus of English (ICE) have made it possible to research grammatical phenomena even in smaller outer circle varieties of English. In the field of grammar, innovations typically start out at the intersection of grammar and lexis. We investigate verb-preposition combinations in four corpora of first and second language varieties of English, among them the preliminary version of the written component of ICE Fiji. Our focus is on what has been termed ‘new prepositional verbs’ (cf. Mukherjee 2009, Nesselhauf 2009), i.e. novel combinations of verbs and prepositions.

We compare a manual and a semi-automated approach to the study of new verb-preposition combinations. The manual approach consists of a surface search for prepositions followed by a careful manual filtering process. The semi-automated approach is a corpus-driven investigation using parsed corpora and detecting variation-specific prepositional collocations. Typically, the advantage of manual searches is that precision is very high; the disadvantage is that the investigation is time-consuming and recall can be incomplete, because the scope of investigations may have to be restricted. The advantage of automatic, parse-based methods is that they are fast and corpus-driven, which may increase recall; the disadvantage is that error-rates are high, which seriously affects precision. We discuss similarities and differences in the results of the two approaches and show examples of new verb-preposition combinations from ICE India and ICE Fiji that the two approaches deliver. We conclude that both methods validate, but also complement each other.

Statistics

Downloads

219 downloads since deposited on 29 Oct 2013
66 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:29 Oct 2013 07:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:04
Publisher:Research Unit for Variation, Contacts, and Change in English
ISSN:1797-4453
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/13/schneider_zipp/

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 162kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations