The distribution and variation of non-coordinated pronoun case forms in English

Tyler Jacob Bui Lemon

Abstract


This paper investigates case preferences for English pronouns in non-coordinated environments subject to variation: in isolation and after not, with following numeral, PP, and NP modifiers, in than and as comparatives, and as the foci of it-clefts. It uses an acceptability judgment experiment (Mechanical Turk) and corpus study (COCA) to investigate these preferences and presents an Optimality Theory-style analysis based on their results that models structural case assignment (case from an external head), default case, and prescriptivism as competing constraints. This model captures case preferences and their relative strengths and provides one possible explanation for the variation attested in these environments.

Keywords


pronoun; case; variation; non-coordinated; English; Optimality Theory; acceptability judgment experiment; Mechanical Turk; corpus study; COCA

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v2i0.4045

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