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Between context and community: Regional variation in register effects in the English dative alternation


Röthlisberger, Melanie (2021). Between context and community: Regional variation in register effects in the English dative alternation. In: Seoane, Elena; Biber, Douglas. Corpus-based Approaches to Register Variation. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing, 111-142.

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between the stylistic context of utterance production and the language user’s regional background as influencing factors in one syntactic alternation, i.e., variation between the double object and the prepositional dative construction. To that end, this chapter zooms in on (1) the competition between stylistic context and regional community regarding dative choice, (2) cross-regional inter-register variation, and (3) register-specific coherence (aka intra-register variation). Comparing data from nine varieties of English using corpora that presumably share the same structure (and registers) reveals that community is more important than context, that the effect of register is regionally variable and that registers are largely but not fully coherent. These findings do not only stress the variable nature of probabilistic grammars but also point to the importance of regional effects when studying register variation (all scripts at https://​osf​.io​/3djkr/).

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between the stylistic context of utterance production and the language user’s regional background as influencing factors in one syntactic alternation, i.e., variation between the double object and the prepositional dative construction. To that end, this chapter zooms in on (1) the competition between stylistic context and regional community regarding dative choice, (2) cross-regional inter-register variation, and (3) register-specific coherence (aka intra-register variation). Comparing data from nine varieties of English using corpora that presumably share the same structure (and registers) reveals that community is more important than context, that the effect of register is regionally variable and that registers are largely but not fully coherent. These findings do not only stress the variable nature of probabilistic grammars but also point to the importance of regional effects when studying register variation (all scripts at https://​osf​.io​/3djkr/).

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Chapter 5
Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Social Sciences & Humanities > Management of Technology and Innovation
Uncontrolled Keywords:inter-register variation, intra-register variation, dative alternation, World Englishes, probabilistic grammar, regional variation, stylistic context, probabilistic indigenization
Language:English
Date:15 December 2021
Deposited On:06 Dec 2022 13:31
Last Modified:25 Mar 2024 04:32
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing
Series Name:Studies in Corpus Linguistics
ISSN:1388-0373
ISBN:9789027210548
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.103.05rot
Official URL:https://benjamins.com/catalog/scl.103.05rot
Related URLs:https://osf.io/3djkr/ (Research Data)
Other Identification Number:e-Book ISBN 9789027258458
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)