Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English by Laurence Horn and Raffaella Zanuttini


915a3dac770be96-261x361.jpg Author Laurence Horn and Raffaella Zanuttini
Isbn 199367221
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Year 2014
Pages 384
Language English
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Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English OXFORD STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE SYNTAX Richard S. Kayne, General Editor The Structure of CP and IP: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 2 Edited by Luigi Rizzi The Syntax of Anaphora Ken Safir Principles and Parameters in a VSO Language: A Case Study in Welsh Ian G. Roberts Structures and Beyond: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 3 Edited by Adriana Belletti Movement and Silence Richard S. Kayne Restructuring and Functional Heads: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 4 Guglielmo Cinque Scrambling, Remnant Movement and Restructuring in West Germanic Roland Hinterhölzl The Syntax of Ellipsis: Evidence from Dutch Dialects Jeroen van Craenenbroeck Mapping the Left Periphery: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 5 Edited by Paola Benincà and Nicola Munaro Mapping Spatial PPs: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 6 Edited by Guglielmo Cinque and Luigi Rizzi The Grammar of Q: Q-Particles, Wh-Movement, and Pied-Piping Seth Cable Comparisons and Contrasts Richard S. Kayne Discourse-Related Features and Functional Projections Silvio Cruschina Functional Heads: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 7 Edited by Laura Brugé, Anna Cardinaletti, Giuliana Giusti, Nicola Munaro, Cecilia Poletto Adverbial Clauses, Main Clause Phenomena and Composition of the Left Periphery: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 8 Liliane Haegeman Variation in Datives Edited by Beatriz Fernández and Ricardo Etxepare Locality Edited by Ian Roberts and Enoch Aboh Aspects of Split Ergativity Jessica Coon A Comparative Grammar of Borgomanerese Christina Tortora Cross-Linguistic Studies of Imposters and Pronominal Agreement Edited by Chris Collins Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English Edited by Raffaella Zanuttini and Laurence R. Horn Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English Edited by Raffaella Zanuttini and Laurence R. Horn 1 1 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford New York Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With offices in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries. Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 © Oxford University Press 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reproduction rights organization. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data  Micro-syntactic variation in North American English / edited by Raffaella Zanuttini and Laurence R. Horn. p.  cm. — (Oxford studies in comparative syntax) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978–0–19–936721–4 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978–0–19–936722–1 (hardcover : alk. paper) — ISBN 978–0–19–936723–8 (ebook) — ISBN 978–0–19–936724–5 (ebook) 1. English language—Variation. 2. English language—Syntax.  I. Zanuttini, Raffaella, editor of compilation. II. Horn, Laurence R., editor of compilation. III. Series: Oxford studies in ­comparative syntax. PE1074.7.M53 2014 427’.97—dc23 2013037171 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper CONTENTS Contributor List  vii   1. North American English: Exploring the Syntactic Frontier    1  Raffaella Zanuttini   2. SO [totally] Speaker-oriented: An Analysis of “Drama SO”    29  Patricia Irwin   3. Affirmative Semantics with Negative Morphosyntax: Negative Exclamatives and the New England So AUXn’t NP/DP Construction    71  Jim Wood   4. Force, Focus, and Negation in African American English    115  Lisa Green   5. Transitive Expletives in Appalachian English    143  Raffaella Zanuttini and Judy B. Bernstein   6. The Syntax and Semantics of Personal Datives in Appalachian English    178  Corinne Hutchinson and Grant Armstrong   7. Iron Range English Reflexive Pronouns    215  Sara S. Loss   8. This Syntax Needs Studied    242  Elspeth Edelstein   9. We might should be thinking this way: Theory and Practice in the Study of Syntactic Variation    269  J. Daniel Hasty 10. Addressing the Problem of Intra-speaker Variation for Parametric Theory    294  Christina Tortora 11. Afterword: Microvariation in Syntax and Beyond    324  Laurence R. Horn Author Index    349 Subject Index    351 CONTRIBUTOR LIST Grant Armstrong University of Wisconsin–Madison Judy B. Bernstein William Paterson University Elspeth Edelstein University of Aberdeen Lisa Green University of Massachusetts Amherst Laurence R. Horn Yale University J. Daniel Hasty Coastal Carolina University Corinne Hutchinson Georgetown University Patricia Irwin University of Pennsylvania Sara S. Loss Oklahoma State University Christina Tortora City University of New York (College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center) Jim Wood Yale University Raffaella Zanuttini Yale University Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English CHAPTER 1 North American English Exploring the Syntactic Frontier R AFFAELL A ZANUT TINI Yale University 1. A GAP IN OUR KNOWLEDGE If asked how the syntax of English differs from that of other related Germanic languages, linguists would know what to say. They could choose to discuss one of a number of topics that have been studied extensively, such as differences in word order, the syntax of the noun phrase, the expression of case, the internal and external syntax of subjects, wh-movement, etc. A scholar interested in pursuing these topics can find a large number of resources at his or her disposal, from books to dedicated journals. In contrast, linguists would have a much harder time answering a similar question if the empirical domain were restricted to varieties of English, in particular if the question were to be “What kind of syntactic variation is exhibited by varieties of English spoken in North America?” We would immediately think about the one variety that has a relatively rich literature, namely African American English, and the topics that have been discussed in that context, such as negative auxiliary inversion (1), and the articulated system of aspect marking partially illustrated in (2)1: (1) Don’t nothing come to a sleeper but a dream. (African American English) ‘Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.’ (2) a. During the summer, they go off for two weeks, so her checks be big. ‘During the summer, they go away for two weeks, so her checks are u ­ sually big then.’ 1.  All the examples in (1) and (2) are from Green (2002). b. I told him you dәn changed. ‘I told him you have changed.’ c. I BIN knowing he died. ‘I have known for a long time that he died.’ d. He BIN dәn put that in there. ‘He put that in there a long time ago.’ But our knowledge about the interesting syntactic properties of other varieties is considerably more limited, and gathering information about them is a more difficult task, as there are no volumes or journals to which one can turn. Interesting descriptions can be found in theses, anthologies, and journals such as American Speech. Yet there is no volume or journal devoted to discussing the relevance of this wealth of data to syntactic theory. This book is a first step toward filling that gap. It offers the beginning of an answer to questions such as: • What kind of syntactic or morpho-syntactic variation do we find across varieties of North American English? In particular, are there subdomains of the syntactic architecture where we tend to see grammatical systems departing from one ­another? • To what extent is the kind of syntactic variation we find across varieties of North American English similar to the type we observe across varieties of English spoken elsewhere, across Germanic languages more generally, or across closely related varieties in other language families? • How does language change? How do linguistic varieties depart from one another? • More broadly, what does the variation exhibited across varieties of North American English tell us about the structure of grammar? These questions are worth asking, should be asked, and can be answered. The answers are important for the goal of furthering our understanding of the architecture of human language. There is no doubt that North American English consists of varieties that are distinct not only in their phonological system, but also in their syntax and morphology. First, it is apparently impossible to find a language where all speakers share the same grammar, especially when the language has a large number of speakers, who are spread out over a vast geographical area and are part of a complex web of social relations. Second, North American English was not homogeneous even at the very beginning of its history.2 For example, the English speakers who settled in the area around Jamestown, Virginia, starting in 1607 (as well as those who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1620) came from the London area, in southeastern England. In 2.  See Bailey (2004) and, for a concise and informative overview, Wolfram and SchillingEstes (1998, 2006). [ 2 ] Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English contrast, the English speakers who settled in the easternmost portion of the Tidewater area in Virginia were from southwestern England, and those who settled in the interior areas of Virginia came from Ulster, in Northern Ireland, via Scotland (they are often referred to as Scots-Irish). These speakers spoke distinct varieties of English and such distinctions were brought into the American landscape. In other words, there was never such a thing as a uniform “(North) American English.” Rather, different varieties of English, hence different grammatical systems, coexisted from the very beginning, and continue to coexist today. Morpho-syntactic variation in North American English is attested and has been described in numerous and disparate venues, as mentioned above. In an effort to make such descriptions more visible and accessible, the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project is currently collecting, organizing, and making available all the information it can gather: examples of sentences exhibiting interesting syntactic properties, what we know about them (in particular, the constraints on their distribution and how they are interpreted), where they have been discussed in the literature (sometimes these references are difficult to find, because they are in working papers or collections that do not have wide circulation and are not available on the web). Some examples of sentences with interesting morpho-syntactic properties are given in (3): the presence of the prefix a- on the verbal gerund (3a); the use of liketa to express that an event on the verge of occurring did not occur (3b); the co-occurrence of two negative elements with the interpretation of a single instance of negation (3c); the so-called double comparative, that is, a sentence where two comparative markers co-occur (3d); the element so apparently modifying a verb phrase (3e); the co-occurrence of more than one modal in a single clause, such as might and would in (3f); the occurrence of anymore in a positive environment (3g): (3) a. Well, she’s a-gettin’ the black lung now, ain’t she? (Wolfram 1976) b. You liketa run over me, didn’t you! (Feagin 1979) c. I don’t never heard of that before. (Feagin 1979) d. Every time you ask me not to hum, I’ll hum more louder. (Corver 2005) e. Jamie is SO going to kiss you! (Irwin, this volume) f. How is it no one might not would notice that but Anne? (di Paolo 1989) g. You stay in your office too late anymore. (Krumpelmann 1939) These examples are grammatical for some, but not all, speakers of American English. In many cases, they are grammatical for speakers who grew up in certain areas, that is, the variation in the grammar is defined geographically (e.g., certain parts of New England, or of the South). One case, (3e), is grammatical for speakers of a certain age group, regardless of their location. Whether these differences are based on geography, age, ethnicity, or identity of another sort is very interesting (and this book describes them in some detail), and yet at the same time tangential to our main concern. Our goal is to characterize the extent and the way in which grammatical systems can vary. To achieve this goal, we take as the object of our investigation the subtle differences that we see across closely related varieties of North American English, N or t h A m e r i c an En g l i s h        [ 3 ] regardless of whether they are due to history or other distinctions that have emerged within a community. We take these differences to reflect differences in the grammatical systems of the speakers, hence to reflect differences (or “variation”) in the morphological and/or syntactic component of their mental grammar. This is the meaning that the term variation has in this book: differences in the sentences we read or hear that reflect differences among the abstract grammatical systems that generate those sentences. The comparison and examination of grammatical systems that are overwhelmingly similar, often referred to as “micro-comparative syntax,” is by now a very wellestablished methodology. Among generative syntacticians, Richard Kayne was the first to point out that the detailed comparison of systems that are largely similar allows the researcher to simulate a laboratory setting, in which we can keep the environment constant and observe the results of manipulating the variable under investigation. When the object of investigation is natural language, the manipulation of a variable is done by the speakers of a given variety: they change one property of their mental grammar, and we, as the experimenters, observe the consequences of that change and try to understand how the system is structured and organized. This methodology has already proven very fruitful and successful when applied to empirical domains other than English. For example, starting in the 1980s, under the leadership of Richard Kayne, Paola Benincà, and their collaborators, linguists have been examining and conducting detailed and sophisticated descriptive work on socalled Northern Italian dialects3 with the goal of answering questions concerning the organization of the abstract grammatical system that underlies them. This marriage of description and theory resulted in a body of work that has pushed forward both our knowledge of the data and our understanding of grammar, in areas such as the syntax of pronominal elements, the left periphery, auxiliary selection, negation, etc. (cf. Poletto 2000, Tortora 2002, Benincà and Poletto 2004, D’Alessandro and Roberts 2010, Zanuttini 1997, among others; for a very thorough overview, see the introduction to D’Alessandro and Roberts 2010). Similarly, under the leadership of Sjef Barbiers and Hans Bennis, linguists have undertaken a careful and systematic study of morphological and syntactic variation across the linguistic varieties spoken in the Netherlands and the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. They have created a very productive research group that has investigated them in depth and published its results in a number of venues, including the two-volume Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects. In this and subsequent work, these linguists have explored in depth issues such as agreeing complementizers, subject pronouns, verb clusters, auxiliaries, negation, and quantification, and more generally a wide range of phenomena that involve syntactic doubling (cf. Barbiers et al. 2005, Barbiers et al. 2008a, Barbiers et al. 2008b, among others). 3.  The Northern Italian dialects are varieties of Romance that developed from Vulgar Latin and exhibit clearly distinct lexical, phonological, morphological and syntactic ­properties. [ 4 ] Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English The advantages offered by studying closely related varieties to our understanding of the structure of grammar have also been shown in a very powerful way in the work of William Labov and his collaborators. In particular, Labov et al. (2006) show that a careful study of the varieties of American English can prove invaluable in our understanding of the phonological system and in particular in shedding light on the nature of sound change. The work they produced is invaluable both for its descriptive accuracy and for the theoretical advances that it makes. All these works have been able to provide insights that couldn’t have been obtained otherwise, and raise questions that will lead to further discoveries. In contrast with these other domains, the syntax of closely related varieties of North American English has not yet received systematic investigation. There are some very interesting syntactic studies that show us what we can learn from the detailed examination of varieties of English. For example, Henry’s (1995) careful investigation of Belfast English has shed light on important details of the syntax of imperatives, questions, and relative clauses. Similarly, McCloskey’s (2000) investigation of quantifier stranding in a variety of Irish English has proven important in shedding light on the local character of movement. If we restrict attention to North American English, as mentioned earlier, important work has been done on African American English, in particular on negative concord and negative inversion, copula be, and the rich system of aspect marking (cf. Labov et al. 1968; Labov 1969; Labov 1972; Martin 1992; Sells et al. 1996; White-Sustaíta 2010; Rickford 1975; Dayton 1996; Green 2002; Terry 2005, among others). As for the syntax of other varieties, we can find a relatively large number of insightful descriptions (cf. Kimball and Aissen 1971; Wolfram and Fasold 1974; Feagin 1979; Wolfram and Christian 1976; Montgomery and Hall 2004; Montgomery 2008; Murray and Simon 2008; Wolfram 2008a; Wolfram 2008a, b; Wolfram and Ward 2006, among others, and many articles in American Speech) and a relatively small number of in-depth analyses (cf. Wolfram 1976; Wolfram 1988; di Paolo 1989; Battistella 1991; Montgomery 2006; Tortora and den Dikken 2010, among others). But the work of relating data to the theory can and should be done much more extensively and systematically. The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project4 and the present volume are steps in that direction. The former aims to offer careful description and documentation of morphological and syntactic differences across varieties of North American English. This volume offers a collection of articles each of which analyzes in some depth one of the domains in which we see morpho-syntactic variation. Needless to say, they don’t come close to providing a full picture of what needs to be investigated; but they represent a hopeful beginning. 2. WHAT THIS BOOK HAS TO OFFER This volume represents the first collection of articles that focuses on morpho-­syntactic variation across varieties of English spoken in North America while attempting to relate 4.  See http://microsyntax.sites.yale.edu N or t h A m e r i c an En g l i s h        [ 5 ] it to general issues in syntactic theory. The articles contained in this volume make an empirical contribution by providing detailed descriptions of syntactic phenomena that are not widely known, and a theoretical contribution by exploring their relevance for the goal of building a model of the architecture of our mental grammar. While pursuing these two major goals, it also dispels some misconceptions about language, by making it clear that, from the point of view of a linguist, all grammatical systems are interesting objects of scientific investigation—regardless of whether the sentences they generate are part of a variety of English that all, most, or only some speakers call their own. Grammatical systems change, for a variety of reasons, and even a small change can give rise to a number of superficial differences in what speakers do, yielding what we call different varieties of English, each an equally interesting object of scientific investigation. 2.1 Understanding so English appears to have a number of types of so. This can be seen in the following examples, where so seems to stand for a proposition in (4), stand for a VP in (5), connect two clauses (with a meaning similar to therefore) in (6), and express degree in (7)5: (4) Will Obama win the elections? I think so. (5) They asked me to write a letter detailing the situation. I did so, but it had no effect. (6) They don’t appreciate your help, so you shouldn’t bother helping them. (7) a. I am so tired that I might have to stay home tonight. b. They walk so quickly that we can barely keep up with them. In “SO [TOTALLY] speaker-oriented: An analysis of ‘Drama SO’,” Chapter 2 of this volume, Patricia Irwin discusses sentences with a usage of so that started gaining popularity in the 1980s (among people born from the late 1960s on; cf. Zwicky 2006). This type of so, now quite common in North American English, is exemplified in the following examples: (8) a. Jamie has SO dated that type of guy before. b. People are SO wearing flip-flops this season. Irwin calls this “Drama SO” to emphasize that it conveys that the speaker has a strong feeling about the proposition expressed by the sentence.6 Because it expresses 5.  For an extensive discussion of the various types of so, see Huddleston and Pullum (2002). 6.  Potts (2004) expresses a very similar intuition by saying that the utterance expresses a high degree of speaker’s commitment to the proposition. [ 6 ] Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English a strong feeling, or a high degree of commitment, it might be seen as similar to the so that expresses degree, exemplified in (7). Yet it is clearly different. First, Drama SO must receive the highest pitch accent in the sentence, as pointed out in Potts (2004); this is why Irwin writes it in capital letters. Second, it does not appear to modify a gradable adjective (like tired in 7a) or adverb (like quickly in 7b); rather, it seems to occur with a number of categories, like VP, as in (8), and even predicate PPs or DPs, as in (9): (9) a. You are SO in the Doghouse for that one! b. This is SO Iceland. (Zwicky 2006) Irwin argues that appearances are deceiving, and that so is actually modifying a gradable predicate in these examples. In particular she suggests that it modifies totally, not in the meaning of the manner adverb close to “completely” but in that of the speaker-oriented adverb close to “definitely” or “wholeheartedly,” conveying that the speaker wholeheartedly believes the proposition to be true. This meaning, which is not available to all speakers of English, is the one that emerges in the following examples (where the adverb is written in capital letters to convey that it bears pitch accent)7: ( 10) a. Violeta TOTALLY goes to the gym. b. Mike TOTALLY wants tickets for that concert. Irwin hypothesizes that, in Drama SO, so always modifies either an overt form or a null form of the adverb totally. Hence the examples in (8) and (9) contain a phonetically null instance of totally, as follows (here small caps are used to convey that “totally” is phonetically null): ( 11) a. b. c. d. Jamie has SO totally dated that type of guy before. People are SO totally wearing flip-flops this season. You are SO totally in the Doghouse for that one! This is SO totally Iceland. This hypothesis makes a number of predictions: (i) any sentence with Drama SO should be acceptable when totally is pronounced; (ii) since so is a degree modifier of totally and degree modifiers are not obligatory, we should be able to pronounce totally and omit so with no change in acceptability; (iii) sentences with Drama SO should exhibit the same distributional restrictions as sentences with totally—for example, they should be unable to occur in the scope of negation, in the antecedent of a conditional, a question, or an embedded clause. Irwin’s contribution shows that these predictions are indeed borne out, providing strong support for the validity of her 7.  In these examples, from Irwin’s article, the predicates are atelic, and so the completive meaning of totally is not relevant. N or t h A m e r i c an En g l i s h        [ 7 ] hypothesis. Her proposal is that the so of Drama SO is the head of a Degree Phrase that takes as its complement an amount expressed syntactically as a QP headed by an abstract Q that quantifies over the adverb totally. The adverb totally is responsible for both the distributional restrictions and the meaning of Drama SO, as it is the element that contributes that the speaker has a high degree of (emotional) commitment to the proposition. Jim Wood’s Chapter 3, “Affirmative Semantics with Negative Morphosyntax: Negative Exclamatives and the New England So AUXn’t NP/DP Construction,” also focuses on a use of so, but one with a rather different distribution. Consider the exchange in (12) and (13). If a speaker utters the sentence in (12), the interlocutor could respond in one of several ways, all involving so: (12) Alex plays the guitar. ( 13) a. I do so too. (subject-auxiliary-so) b. So do I. (so-auxiliary-subject) c. So don’t I. (so-auxiliary-n’t-subject) The object of investigation of Wood’s paper is the type of answer exemplified in (13c), referred to as SAND (So-AUXn’t-NP/DP) for short. This kind of sentence is not grammatical (or comprehensible) for all speakers of English, but is grammatical for many speakers in New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut; see Wood’s article for more detail on its geographical distribution). A speaker uses it when he or she wants to correct a belief associated with another statement. One common case, according to Wood, is when an interlocutor makes a statement that comes across as associated with an incorrect exhaustivity implicature. In the exchange just seen, for example, a speaker who responds to (12) by uttering (13c) does two things: asserts that he or she plays the guitar and cancels the implicature that Alex is the only one (of the people in the relevant context) who plays the guitar. SAND exhibits the full range of auxiliary and subject types, as we see in the following examples: ( 14) a. . . . Sure it’s trendy, but so aren’t most NYC clubs. b. National healthcare would be great, but so wouldn’t everybody actually paying taxes. c. Yes, the “Somalis” should be treated with respect but so shouldn’t the Americans. d. Just as children ignore their parents, so don’t parents ignore their children. Despite the presence of the negative marker, the sentence is not negative, as Wood shows through a series of classic tests for negation. For example, it cannot license NPIs (15), it is compatible with positive polarity items like some (16), and, when it occurs in a question followed by a tag, the auxiliary in the tag is obligatorily negative (17): [ 8 ] Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English (15) *Some swimmers showed up at the zero-gravity expo, but so didn’t any ­astronauts. (16) Some guitarists wanted to play, but so didn’t some drummers. ( 17) A. He knows how to swim. B. Well, so don’t we, don’t we? Wood’s hypothesis is that the interpretation associated with these sentences, that of asserting the truth of a proposition and negating an implicature associated with another statement, arises compositionally from the elements that make up a SAND sentence. In particular, he argues that the sentence has two components: a yes-no question, and the element so, which chooses the positive alternative as an answer to the question, i.e., as the proposition to be asserted, and rejects the negative alternative. In particular, a feature of C (maybe a Q feature) leading to movement of the negated auxiliary to C yields the semantics of a question; in a yes-no question, this is the disjunction of two propositions (p ∨¬p). Given that, in SAND, the clause is negative, the yes-no question yields the disjunction of two negative propositions: (¬p) ∨ (¬(¬p)) (in plain English, I don’t play the guitar, or it’s not true that I don’t play the guitar). Wood proposes that the role of so is to resolve this question: simplifying somewhat, so provides an answer to the question by choosing the affirmative variant ((¬(¬p)), or, in our example, it’s not true that I don’t play the guitar). This elegantly explains the pragmatic properties of these sentences: in using SAND, the speaker wants to deny a negative proposition, i.e., to remove ¬ p from the set of beliefs held by the interlocutor. It also makes sense of the presence of a negative marker, without having to say that it is present but fails to get interpreted (always a suspicious move). Finally, it captures the fact that the sentence is not negative (despite containing a negative morpheme) and thus is incompatible with NPIs, compatible with PPIs and with a negative tag. 2.2 Negation In Chapter 4, “Force, Focus, and Negation in African American English,” Lisa Green examines declarative clauses that, like SAND, exhibit a negated modal or auxiliary that precedes the subject in linear order. Some examples are given in (18): (18) a. Don’t nobody want to ride the bus. (African American English) ‘Not a single person wants to ride the bus.’ b. Wouldn’t nobody ride that bus. ‘Not a single person would ride that bus.’ N or t h A m e r i c an En g l i s h        [ 9 ]

Author Laurence Horn and Raffaella Zanuttini Isbn 0199367221 File size 2MB Year 2014 Pages 384 Language English File format PDF Category Culture Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare By comparing linguistic varieties that are quite similar overall, linguists can often determine where and how grammatical systems differ, and how they change over time. Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English provides a systematic look at minimal differences in the syntax of varieties of English spoken in North America. The book makes available for the first time a range of data on unfamiliar constructions drawn from several regional and social dialects, data whose distribution and grammatical properties shed light on the varieties under examination and on the properties of English syntax more generally. The nine contributions collected in this volume fall under a number of overlapping topics: variation in the expression of negation and modality (the “so don’t I” construction in eastern New England, negative auxiliary inversion in declaratives in African-American and southern white English, multiple modals in southern speech, the “needs washed” construction in the Pittsburgh area); pronouns and reflexives (transitive expletives in Appalachia, personal dative constructions in the Southern/Mountain states, long-distance reflexives in the Minnesota Iron Range); and the relation between linguistic variation and language change (the rise of “drama SO” among younger speakers, the difficulty in establishing which phenomena cluster together and should be explained by a single point of parametric variation). These chapters delve into the syntactic analysis of individual phenomena, and the editors’ introduction and afterword contextualize the issues and explore their semantic, pragmatic, and sociolinguistic implications.     Download (2MB) New Perspectives on Language Variety in the South How Far is America from Here? Benefactives and Malefactives: Typological perspectives and case studies Languages and Dialects in the U.S.: Focus on Diversity and Linguistics Advances in the study of Siouan languages and linguistics Load more posts

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