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By Alison Henry

The learn of comparative syntax in heavily similar languages has yielded necessary insights into syntactic phenomena--for instance within the examine of the Romance languages--yet little comparative paintings has been performed on English dialects. this is often the 1st comparability of the syntax of Belfast English and traditional English, utilizing Chomsky's "Principles and Parameters"/Minimalist framework. Alison Henry analyzes numerous Belfast English buildings and their general English opposite numbers to realize perception into either English syntax and syntactic idea often. within the approach, she makes helpful information on Belfast English on hand for the 1st time.

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Extra resources for Belfast English and Standard English: Dialect Variation and Parameter Setting (Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax)

Sample text

They haven't a cigarette. b. They don't have a cigarette. Thus generally in English, Jo-support is not found with be in the negative, and is optional with have; but in imperatives, even these verbs form the negative imperative with don't. 50 BELFAST ENGLISH AND STANDARD ENGLISH Note that where the imperative has an overt subject, the negative must be the contracted form don't, and not the uncontracted do not (43) a. Don't you speak to me like that. b. *Do you not speak to me like that. c. *Do not you speak to me like that.

Thus, there are distinct differences between singular concord cases and those where group nouns are concerned. In the latter case, there do not seem to be structural differences between these and sentences showing normal agreement, whereas in the singular concord cases, there are definite structural differences. "Singular Concord" as Lack of Agreement Marking One of the superficially surprising aspects of singular concord is that it involves the use of a form with an overt inflection, where a base form of the verb would suffice; rather than appearing in its base form, as in (33), the verb is in fact gaining an ending, as in (34).

27) *Is the members planning to resign? (28) *Has the office-bearers agreed on this? In addition, the collective examples permit an adverb to intervene between the subject and verb with raising verbs, whereas as noted above, this is impossible with singular concord. (29) (30) (31) (32) The government really are planning to resign. The committee probably have agreed on this. *The members really is planning to resign. *The office-bearers probably has agreed on this. Thus, there are distinct differences between singular concord cases and those where group nouns are concerned.

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