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Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English$
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Raffaella Zanuttini and Laurence Horn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367221

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367221.001.0001

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Afterword: Microvariation in Syntax and Beyond

Afterword: Microvariation in Syntax and Beyond

(p.324) Chapter 11 Afterword: Microvariation in Syntax and Beyond
Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English

Laurence R. Horn

Oxford University Press

The chapters in this volume investigated a number of constructions that illustrate variation in syntactic form and geographical distribution. This Afterword focuses on various semantic, diachronic, and sociolinguistic dimensions and implications of these constructions (along with others not otherwise directly discussed in the volume) with the goal of shedding further light on the nature of grammatical variation in North American English. The sections explore the forms and functions of pleonastic negation, the connections between declarative V1 negative inversion and the V2 inversion triggered by fronted negative phrases in mainstream dialects, social attitudes toward proscribed and stigmatized grammatical features within and across dialect groups, methodological issues in syntactic dialect research, and the “recency illusion” affecting speakers‧ attitude toward unfamiliar or exotic constructions they encounter.

Keywords:   expletive negation, gender-linked usage, negative inversion, personal datives, positive anymore, recency illusion, social attitudes, stigmatization

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