YGDP publishes article on “Southern dative presentative”

November 30, 2015

Members of the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project (YGDP) have published an article in the journal American Speech titled, “The Southern dative presentative meets Mechanical Turk.” The article explores a unqiue syntactic structure found in some dialects of English, and was co-authored by Yale linguistics lecturer Jim Wood, professor emeritus Larry Horn, professor Raffaella Zanuttini and graduate student Luke Lindemann. The research is based on crowdsourced surveys conducted using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. An abstract appears below; for more information about this structure, click here

This article introduces the SOUTHERN DATIVE PRESENTATIVE, an understudied construction that varies across speakers of American English. The authors discuss similarities and differences between this construction and the better-studied PERSONAL DATIVE construction and compare the Southern dative presentative with similar constructions cross-linguistically. They then present the results of a nationwide acceptability judgment survey administered on Amazon Mechanical Turk. The results show that Southern dative presentatives are alive and well in Southern dialects of American English. In the process, they also illustrate the usefulness of Amazon Mechanical Turk (and similar crowdsourcing platforms) for the study of dialect variation in the domain of syntax.

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