Constraints on non-standard -s in expletive 'there' sentences: a generative-variationist perspective

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines grammatical conditioning of the use of nonstandard -s in expletive there sentences. The discussion is based on data from a Midlands variety of English (UK). In negative constructions, speakers tend to allow for nonstandard -s with no and constituent not, but not to use it with n't or clausal not. Further, nonstandard -s is admitted in declarative existentials, but disfavoured in interrogatives. By comparison, occurrences of nonstandard -s in nonexistential structures did not seem to demonstrate these constraints. Investigating such constraints is instructive in several respects. First, they help to identify the nature of nonstandard -s. Second, they provide new evidence for the generative inquiry into issues relating to subject-verb agreement. Third, they delimit variable contexts for variationist analyses. In this way generative and variationist objectives meet. I will argue that researching syntactic variation necessitates combining generative and variationist methodology. © Cambridge University Press 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-288
Number of pages63
JournalEnglish Language and Linguistics
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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conditioning
methodology
evidence
Expletives
Generative
Syntactic Variation
Varieties of English
Conditioning
Constituent
Interrogatives
Methodology
Subject-verb Agreement

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title = "Constraints on non-standard -s in expletive 'there' sentences: a generative-variationist perspective",
abstract = "This article examines grammatical conditioning of the use of nonstandard -s in expletive there sentences. The discussion is based on data from a Midlands variety of English (UK). In negative constructions, speakers tend to allow for nonstandard -s with no and constituent not, but not to use it with n't or clausal not. Further, nonstandard -s is admitted in declarative existentials, but disfavoured in interrogatives. By comparison, occurrences of nonstandard -s in nonexistential structures did not seem to demonstrate these constraints. Investigating such constraints is instructive in several respects. First, they help to identify the nature of nonstandard -s. Second, they provide new evidence for the generative inquiry into issues relating to subject-verb agreement. Third, they delimit variable contexts for variationist analyses. In this way generative and variationist objectives meet. I will argue that researching syntactic variation necessitates combining generative and variationist methodology. {\circledC} Cambridge University Press 2005.",
author = "L.M. Rupp",
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language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "225--288",
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Constraints on non-standard -s in expletive 'there' sentences: a generative-variationist perspective. / Rupp, L.M.

In: English Language and Linguistics, Vol. 9, 2005, p. 225-288.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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