This paper introduces a new resource designed to facilitate the quantitative investigation of syntactic variation in spoken language from a comparative perspective. The datasets comprise homogeneously annotated collections of “interchangeable” (i.e. competing) genitive and dative variants in four varieties of English: American English, British English, Canadian English, and New Zealand English. To showcase the empirical potential of the data source, we present a suggestive analysis that investigates the extent to which the probabilistic grammar of genitive and dative variant choice differs across varieties. The statistical analysis reveals that while there are a number of subtle probabilistic contrasts between the regional varieties under study, there is overall a striking degree of cross-varietal homogeneity. We conclude by outlining directions for future research.
This article is part of the Special Collection: Probabilistic grammars: Syntactic variation in a comparative perspective
syntax, probabilistic grammar, variationist linguistics, dative alternation, genitive alternation, varieties of English
How to Cite
Szmrecsanyi, B. & Grafmiller, J. & Bresnan, J. & Rosenbach, A. & Tagliamonte, S. & Todd, S., (2017) “Spoken syntax in a comparative perspective: The dative and genitive alternation in varieties of English”, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1), p.86. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.310