Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Speaking American: A History of English in the United States

By Richard W. Bailey

"Takes a novel approach to the history of American English by focusing on hotbeds of linguistic activity throughout American history."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Language, Literacy, and Technology

By Richard Kern

"In this book, Richard Kern explores how technology matters to language and the ways in which we use it. Kern reveals how material, social and individual resources interact in the design of textual meaning, and how that interaction plays out across contexts of communication, different situations of technological mediation, and different moments in time."


Academic Paper


Title: No momentary fancy! The zero 'complementizer' in English dialects
Author: Sali A Tagliamonte
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Toronto
Author: Jennifer Smith
Institution: University of Glasgow
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In this paper we analyse variable presence of the complementizer that, i.e. I think that this is interesting, in a large archive of British dialects. Situating this feature within its historical development and synchronic patterning, we seek to understand the mechanism underlying the choice between that and zero. Our findings reveal that, in contrast to the diachronic record, the zero option is predominant – 91 per cent overall. Statistical analyses of competing factors operating on this feature confirm that grammaticalization processes and grammatical complexity play a role. However, the linguistic characteristics of a previously grammaticalized collocation, I think, exerts a greater effect. Its imprint is visible in multiple internal factors which constrain the zero option in the other contexts. We argue that this recurrent pattern in discourse propels the zero option through the grammar. These findings contribute to research arguing for a strong relationship between frequency and reanalysis in linguistic change.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 9, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

View the full article for free in the current issue of
Cambridge Extra Magazine !


Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page