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A multivariate analysis of social and intralinguistic factors of word order variation and change in Late Middle and Early Modern English

Awarded: NOK 39,000

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Project Period:

2012 - 2012

I would like to conduct a multivariate/logistic regression analysis of various social and linguistic factors influencing word order variation and change in earlier English. In my doctoral dissertation (2007) I dealt with some social (class, network, regi on), communicative (audience design) and genre-related factors influencing main clause word order variation and change (from V2 grammars to a V3 grammar) in Late Middle English and Early Modern English. The theoretical framework of my research at the time was not informed by information structure and the possibility of microcues, with the incorporation of which my study would definitely have been more encompassing. With the help of the grant, and studying the same phenomenon, I would like to expand my s tudy in these very directions. My choice fell on Tromsö University as here I can have the opportunity to consult with Professor Marit Westergaard, who is influential in just these aspects I have listed above. Based on the theoretical insights gleaned f rom Professor Marit Westergaard's work on multiple microcues postulated behind incremental word order change and her and other Norwegian scholars' work on information structure's role, I would now like to complement my original study and conduct a multiva riate analysis based on computerised corpus data. The corpus would be partly already collected and partly to be collected during the proposed stay. This corpus expansion is yet another aspect that would mean a departure from my previous work, whose corpus was unfortunately limited.

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