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Around the world in three alternations: Modeling syntactic variation in varieties of English


Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt; Grafmiller, Jason; Heller, Benedikt; Röthlisberger, Melanie (2016). Around the world in three alternations: Modeling syntactic variation in varieties of English. English World-Wide: a journal of varieties of English, 37(2):109-137.

Abstract

We sketch a project that marries probabilistic grammar research to scholarship on World Englishes, thus synthesizing two previously rather disjoint lines of research into one unifying project with a coherent focus. This synthesis is hoped to advance usage-based theoretical linguistics by adopting a large-scale comparative and sociolinguistically responsible perspective on grammatical variation. To highlight the descriptive and theoretical benefits of the approach, we present case studies of three syntactic alternations (the particle placement, genitive, and dative alternations) in four varieties of English (British, Canadian, Indian, and Singapore), as represented in the International Corpus of English. We report that the varieties studied share a core probabilistic grammar which is, however, subject to indigenization at various degrees of subtlety, depending on the abstractness of the syntactic patterns studied.

Abstract

We sketch a project that marries probabilistic grammar research to scholarship on World Englishes, thus synthesizing two previously rather disjoint lines of research into one unifying project with a coherent focus. This synthesis is hoped to advance usage-based theoretical linguistics by adopting a large-scale comparative and sociolinguistically responsible perspective on grammatical variation. To highlight the descriptive and theoretical benefits of the approach, we present case studies of three syntactic alternations (the particle placement, genitive, and dative alternations) in four varieties of English (British, Canadian, Indian, and Singapore), as represented in the International Corpus of English. We report that the varieties studied share a core probabilistic grammar which is, however, subject to indigenization at various degrees of subtlety, depending on the abstractness of the syntactic patterns studied.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Probabilistic grammar, dative alternation, genitive alternation, multivariate analysis, particle placement, probabilistic indigenization, syntax, variation
Language:English
Date:1 January 2016
Deposited On:10 Apr 2019 15:01
Last Modified:10 Apr 2019 20:27
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN:0172-8865
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.37.2.01szm
Project Information:
  • : FunderResearch Foundations Flanders
  • : Grant IDG.0C59.13N
  • : Project TitleExploring probabilistic grammars in varieties of English around the world

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