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Usage preferences: the case of the English verbal anaphor do so

Abstract : In this paper I introduce the notion of Usage Preferences (UPs), which are statistically significant preferences in usage which can concern any aspect of linguistics. I suggest that multiple violations of UPs can have additive effects, causing grammatical sentences to be judged as unacceptable. A new judgment on sentences is proposed, the downarrow (#) to mark sentences that are taken to be grammatical but unacceptable due to UP violations. I illustrate the idea of UPs on the basis of a discussion of the English verbal anaphor do so, involving both a corpus analysis and two acceptability experiments. This leads to a discussion of the relationship between grammaticality and acceptability and to remarks on the methodological importance of taking UPs into account both in linguistic theorizing and in the construction of acceptability experiments.
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Contributor : Philip Miller Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 26, 2015 - 8:52:43 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 8:56:16 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01234410, version 1


Philip Harold Miller. Usage preferences: the case of the English verbal anaphor do so. The 20th In­ter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence on Head-​Driv­en Phrase Struc­ture Gram­mar (HPSG 2013), FU Berlin, Aug 2013, Berlin, Germany. pp.121-139. ⟨hal-01234410⟩



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