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


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words Onscreen

By Naomi S. Baron

Words Onscreen "explores how technology is reshaping our understanding of what it means to read."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Communication Accommodation Theory

Edited by Howard Giles

Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.


Academic Paper


Title: Grammatical Relation Probability: How Usage Patterns Shape Analogy
Author: Esther L. Brown
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder
Author: Javier Rivas
Email: click here TO access email
Linguistic Field: Morphology
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: It has been argued speakers' knowledge of the probabilities of certain phones, words, and syntactic structures affects language production (Bell, Brenier, Gregory, Girand, & Jurafsky, 2009; Tily, Gahl, Arnon, Snider, Kothari, & Bresnan, 2009). This study provides evidence for effects of grammatical relation probabilities by identifying significant effects on verb morphology in the Spanish presentative [haber ‘there (be)’+ NP] construction stemming from nouns with varying proportion of use in subject function. In addition to this novel type of probability (grammatical relation), we present calculations that are not context-dependent but cumulative, reflecting speakers' overall experience with these nouns in the grammar. We conduct variationist analyses on corpora of spoken Puerto Rican Spanish. Our results reveal that nouns with a high probability of subject function promote the analogical leveling of haber by increasing the likelihood of reanalysis of the object as subject of the construction. We interpret these results as suggesting speakers possess lexicalized knowledge of grammatical relation usage patterns.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 3.

Return to TOC.

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