What factors influence the choice between alternative grammatical structures such as the following: a lit / lighted cigarette, more full / fuller of convincing arguments, the main thesis of the book / the book´s main thesis, take hostage a group of 15 holidaymakers / take a group of
15 holidaymakers hostage, conceding that the argument is convincing / conceding the argument to be convincing? This is the central issue explored in this volume, which contains a unique selection of innovative in-depth empirical studies written in a broadly functional framework.
The factors investigated include the following: phonological influences (such as the principle of rhythmic alternation and optimal syllable structure), frequency, pervasive semantic and pragmatic aspects (including iconicity, markedness, gram-maticalization and typological tendencies), information structure, processing complexity and horror aequi (the avoidance of identity effects).
This volume is essential reading for everyone in the field of English grammar and all those interested in how functionalism can be brought to bear in illuminating language structure and use.
>From the contents:
Frequency as a determinant in grammatical variation and change
Phonological determinants of grammatical variation in English: Chomsky's worst possible case
Thomas Wasow and Jennifer Arnold
Post-verbal constituent ordering in English
Stefan Th. Gries
Grammatical variation in English: A question of 'structure vs. function'?
John A. Hawkins
Why are zero-marked phrases close to their heads?
Cognitive complexity and horror aequi as factors determining the use of interrogative clause linkers in English
Support for more-support
The role of extractions and horror aequi in the evolution of -ing- complements in Modern English
Gerundial complements after begin and start: Grammatical and sociolinguistic factors, and how they work against each other
Is there semantics in all syntax? The case of accusative and infinitive constructions vs. that-clauses
Aspects of iconicity and economy in the choice between the s-genitive and the of-genitive in English
Constructional semantics as a limit to grammatical alternation: The two genitives of English
Olga C. M. Fischer
Principles of grammaticalization and linguistic reality
Peter Siemund Varieties of English from a cross-linguistic perspective: Intensifiers and reflexives
Non-standard English and typological principles: The case of negation
Sali A. Tagliamonte 'Every place has a different toll': Determinants of grammatical variation in cross-variety perspective.