More Support for More-Support

The role of processing constraints on the choice between synthetic and analytic comparative forms

| Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027234841 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027289278 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
 
This book provides the most comprehensive account so far of novel and hitherto unexplained factors operative in the choice between synthetic (prouder) and analytic (more proud ) comparatives. It argues that the underlying motivation in using the analytic variant is to mitigate processing demands – a compensatory strategy referred to as more -support. The analytic variant is claimed to be better suited to environments of increased processing complexity – presumably owing to its ability to facilitate early phrase structure recognition, the more transparent one-to-one relation between form and function and possibly because the degree marker more can serve as a structural signal foreshadowing cognitive complexity. A bird’s eye view of 24 determinants reveals that the processing effort which triggers the analytic comparative emanates from structures that are phonologically, morphologically, syntactically, lexically, semantically or pragmatically complex. By bridging the gap between corpus-based variation research and psycholinguistic and typological approaches, the book breaks new ground in uncovering the functional motivation behind the continued variability of synthetic-analytic contrasts.
[Studies in Language Variation, 4]  2009.  xi, 222 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction
1–4
Chapter 2 Theoretical preliminaries
5–10
Chapter 3 Methodological preliminaries
11–16
Chapter 4 More-support in phonology
17–34
Chapter 5 More-support in morphology
35–36
Chapter 6 More-support in the lexicon
37–56
Chapter 7 More-support in syntax
57–90
Chapter 8 More-support in semantics
91–98
Chapter 9 More-support in pragmatics/iconicity
99–116
Chapter 10 The emergence of more-support in diachrony
117–170
Chapter 11 More-support in British and American English
171–194
Chapter 12 Conclusion
195–200
Chapter 13 Theoretical implications and outlook
201–204
References
205–216
Author index
217–220
Subject index
221–222
“This is a very thorough and thought-provoking study of the comparative alternation in English. A must-read for everybody interested in grammatical variation.”
“Britta Mondorf's book offers by far the most comprehensive account of the linguistic factors constraining the comparative alternation. [...] It is not only an important contribution to research on adjective comparison in English but also to research on grammatical variation in general.”
“Covering an impressive range of topics and novel system-internal determinants both from an empirical and a theoretical perspective, this book cannot fail to appeal to any professional and budding linguist interested in grammatical change and variation.”
“There is 'more' to this book than meets the eye. On the surface the book only deals with two different ways of expressing the comparative form in English [...]. The book aims to explore what factors are involved in the choice between these two. A much larger and a more profound aim is to find out how the choice relates to the way language is processed, and what role efficiency and processing complexity (or processing effort) play. [...] This study is highly valuable. It presents interesting empirical findings, and raises a new set of questions that deserve further research.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CFB – Sociolinguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009014291 | Marc record