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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 January 2022

We might should be thinking this way

We might should be thinking this way

Theory and Practice in the Study of Syntactic Variation

Chapter:
(p.269) Chapter 9 We might should be thinking this way
Source:
Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English
Author(s):

J. Daniel Hasty

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367221.003.0009

This chapter investigates syntactic variation through both a theoretical and an empirical lens. From an overview of socially conditioned syntactic variation it is suggested that a major issue with extending the sociolinguistic variable to morphosyntax is a lack of differentiation between types of syntactic variables. The chapter argues that syntactic variables without clearly identifiable covariants may best be viewed as microparametric variation. The double modal construction is presented as a case study of this type of variable, and analyzed as microparametric variation involving the co-occurrence of an epistemic modal without syntactic tense and a root modal with tense. Additionally, results from a sociolinguist study of the social constraints on acceptability judgments of double modals are given, and methodological concerns in the empirical study of microparametric variation are highlighted.

Keywords:   double modals, syntactic variation, modality

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