The verb-complementational profile of OFFER in Sri Lankan English

Type Journal Article - Corpus Linguistics and Variation in English: Focus on Non-Native Englishes. Helsinki: Research Unit for Variation, Contacts and Change in English, http://www. helsinki. fi/varieng/journal/volumse/13/bernaisch
Title The verb-complementational profile of OFFER in Sri Lankan English
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
The present pilot study investigates verb complementation in Sri Lankan English, a hitherto largely neglected variety in corpus-based studies of New Englishes. With a focus on the ditransitive verb offer, Sri Lankan English is studied in comparison to both British English, the historical input variety of Sri Lankan English, and Indian English, which may exert epicentral influences on other South Asian varieties of English (cf. Leitner 1992). Based on the Sri Lankan, British and Indian components of the International Corpus of English (ICE) and larger (partly web-derived) newspaper corpora, the frequencies and distributions of the verb-complementational patterns of offer are analysed with regard to the various meanings of the verb, a covariate with the potential to influence the choice of a particular syntactic pattern (cf. Bresnan & Hay 2008). The results of this pilot study indicate that there are clearly identifiable differences between the verb-complementational profiles of offer in the three varieties under scrutiny. In the light of these findings and with reference to Schneider’s (2003, 2007) model of the evolution of postcolonial Englishes, the present paper finds first indications on theoretical as well as on empirical grounds that Sri Lankan English might begin to develop variety-specific norms on the lexicogrammatical level of language organisation.

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