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Exploring subtlety: collocational variation of the definite article in Inner and Outer Circle varieties of English

Abdul Wahid, Mohd Ridwan (2012) Exploring subtlety: collocational variation of the definite article in Inner and Outer Circle varieties of English. In: International Conference on Linguistics, Literature, and Culture 2012 (ICLLIC 2012), 7 - 9 November 2012, Park Royal Hotel Penang. (Unpublished)

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Article usage variation is often said to manifest itself in terms of token omission and insertion e.g. American take me to the hospital vs. British take me to Ø hospital. Quantitative evidence, however, can only offer little support for the extensiveness of such variation (e.g. Sand, 2004). Given that syntactic variation in different varieties of English is rarely categorical in that one form exists in one variety but absent in another (e.g. Kortmann, 2006), this paper seeks to explore an aspect of the subtlety of article use variation by describing differences in collocational patterns of the in eight varieties of English available in the International Corpus of English: British, American, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, Singaporean, Philippine and Kenyan Englishes (Greenbaum and Nelson, 1996). Following Kachru (1982), the eight varieties are divided into two groups: a four-member Inner Circle and a four-member Outer Circle. The paper will show that while there are a number of common high-frequency collocates of the quite naturally shared by the varieties, they also crucially demonstrate preferences for different complementation patterns at two- and multiple-word levels – arguably a type of variation that is not visible in terms of frequency. More importantly the Inner Circle varieties are shown to share more complementation patterns among them, demonstrating greater stability in terms of variation. The Outer Circle varieties, on the other hand, are found to display a higher degree of individual creativity in their complementation patterns. It will be argued that some of the heterogeneity found in the Outer Circle can be attributed to nativisation. Social-cultural content appears to be the best factor to explain a large number of the variety-specific collocations.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Full Paper)
Additional Information: 4582/28935
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of English Language & Literature
Depositing User: Dr Ridwan Wahid
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2013 13:25
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2013 15:26
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/29122

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