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Academic Paper


Title: Preposition Copying and Pruning in Present-Day English
Author: Andrew Radford
Institution: University of Essex
Author: Claudia Felser
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universität Potsdam
Author: Oliver Boxell
Institution: Universität Potsdam
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article investigates the nature of preposition copying and preposition pruning structures in present-day English. We begin by illustrating the two phenomena and consider how they might be accounted for in syntactic terms, and go on to explore the possibility that preposition copying and pruning arise for processing reasons. We then report on two acceptability judgement experiments examining the extent to which native speakers of English are sensitive to these types of ‘error’ in language comprehension. Our results indicate that preposition copying creates redundancy rather than ungrammaticality, whereas preposition pruning creates processing problems for comprehenders that may render it unacceptable in timed (but not necessarily in untimed) judgement tasks. Our findings furthermore illustrate the usefulness of combining corpus studies and experimentally elicited data for gaining a clearer picture of usage and acceptability, and the potential benefits of examining syntactic phenomena from both a theoretical and a processing perspective.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 16, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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