Chapter published in:Changing Structures: Studies in constructions and complementation
Edited by Mark Kaunisto, Mikko Höglund and Paul Rickman
[Studies in Language Companion Series 195] 2018
► pp. 129–149
The use of optional complement markers in present-day English
The role of passivization and other complexity factors
This paper reports on the results of a corpus-based study exploring several major types of omissible complement clause markers. Throughout, the distribution of rival variants with or without these markers is accounted for in terms of the Complexity Principle correlating processing complexity and grammatical explicitness. The focus is on the use of passivized matrix verbs as well as other complexity factors in the active, which favour the more explicit variants containing the function words in question. At the same time, the paper registers, wherever practical and instructive, any parallels and differences between British and American English. In most cases, the variation phenomena in question are the result of ongoing developments either introducing or reducing the use of the relevant function words.
Keywords: complement markers, variation, corpus linguistics, Complexity Principle, passivization, (in)transitive complement verbs
Published online: 22 May 2018
d91-00, 02, 04-05 The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph on CD-ROM 1991–2000, 2002, 2004–2005. Chadwyck-Healey/ProQuest. (478,837,273 words)
D92-95 Detroit Free Press on CD-ROM 1992–1995. Knight Ridder Information Inc. (102,989,512 words)
g90-05 The Guardian (including The Observer 1994–2005) on CD-ROM 1990–2005. Chadwyck-Healey/ProQuest. (645,817,821 words)
i93-94, 02-05 The Independent and The Independent on Sunday on CD-ROM 1993–94, 2002–2005. ProQuest. (242,608,117 words)
L92-95 The Los Angeles Times on CD-ROM 1992–1995 Knight Ridder Information Inc. (320,016,164 words)
L96-99 The Los Angeles Times 1996–1999 (courtesy of The Los Angeles Times Editorial Library). (275,506,490 words)
LOB The Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen Corpus on CD-ROM 1961. ICAME. (1,000,000 words)
m93-00 The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday on CD-ROM 1993–2000. Chadwyck-Healey. (206,762,410 words)
N01 The New York Times on CD-ROM 2001. ProQuest. (52,132,979 words)
NCF Nineteenth Century Fiction 1999–2000 Chadwyck-Healey. (37,589,837 words)
t90-04 The Times and The Sunday Times on CD-ROM 1990–2004 Chadwyck-Healey/ProQuest. (729,848,339 words)
W90-92 The Washington Times (including Insight on the News 1990–1992) on CD-ROM 1990–1992. Wayzata Technology. (93,889,488 words)
Atkinson, Martin, Kilby, David & Roca, Iggy
Clark, Herbert & Clark, Eve
Davison, Alice & Lutz, Richard
Hawkins, John A.
Horn, Laurence R.
Lohse, Barbara, Hawkins, John A. & Wasow, Thomas
Mustanoja, Tauno F.
2000 The complexity principle as a factor determining grammatical variation and change in English. In , Language Use Language Acquisition and Language History: (Mostly) Empirical Studies in Honour of Rüdiger Zimmermann, Ingo Plag & Klaus Peter Schneider (eds), 25–44. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.
Rohdenburg, Günter & Schlüter, Julia
Tagliamonte, Sali A. & Smith, Jennifer
Cited by 3 other publications
BERG, THOMAS, TIM ZINGLER & ARNE LOHMANN
Kaunisto, Mark & Juhani Rudanko
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 04 march 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.