LINGUIST List 27.938

Mon Feb 22 2016

Disc: Percentages, norm, corpus, variants and borders

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 21-Feb-2016
From: Esad Halilović <>
Subject: Percentages, norm, corpus, variants and borders
E-mail this message to a friend


Please help me with these three research questions:

1. Has anyone ever written on any attempts at setting some sort of loose percentage boundaries at which certain linguistic changes enter the standard norm? Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying that there should be any, I am just researching any possible attempts at it. Other factors do wield a strong influence, but in general I was wondering has anyone ever tried to observe at which boundaries does a let's say new synonym become a valid counterpart. Is it when it is used in 10-20%, 20-30% or 30-40% of occurrences. An awfully generalized statement but still. Or perhaps something along the lines of how rare of an occurrence does a lexeme have to have to be rendered obsolete. Or anything similar. Please let me know if you know of anyone who could help me with this question.
2. Does anyone know of any other available corpus of variants of English which have fewer speakers, such as Australian, Canadian, Irish, Singapore etc. except for Glowbe?
3. Has anyone ever dealt with what happens when variants of a given language (or very similar languages) are not always clearly discernible (in shorter texts) or do not coincide with geographical or state borders? Sometimes it feels more as if one is researching an area more than a language.

Many thanks.

Kind regards,
Esad Halilović

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Discipline of Linguistics
                            Language Documentation
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Page Updated: 22-Feb-2016