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Spoken syntax in a comparative perspective: The dative and genitive alternation in varieties of English

Authors:

Benedikt Szmrecsanyi ,

KU Leuven, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven, BE
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Jason Grafmiller,

University of Birmingham, 3 Elms Road, Edgbaston B15 2TT, GB
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Joan Bresnan,

Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University, Cordura Hall 205, Stanford, CA 94305, US
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Anette Rosenbach,

Tanagra Farm, P.O. Box 92, 6708 McGregor/Western Cape, ZA
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Sali Tagliamonte,

University of Toronto, 100 St George St, Toronto, Ontario, CDA, M5S 3G3, CA
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Simon Todd

Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Building 460, Margaret Jacks Hall, Stanford, CA 94305-2150, US
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Abstract

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

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), 86. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.310
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Published on 29 Sep 2017.
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