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

Benedikt Szmrecsanyi, Jason Grafmiller, Benedikt Heller, Melanie Röthlisberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
344 Downloads (Pure)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-137
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Volume37
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • World Englishes
  • syntactic variation
  • genitives
  • datives
  • particle placement

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