OUP publishes Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English
Oxford University Press has recently released Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English, edited by professors Raffaella Zanuttini and Larry Horn. Providing a systematic look at minimal differences in the syntax of varieties of English spoken in North America, the book makes available for the first time a range of data on constructions drawn from several regional and social dialects, data whose distribution and grammatical properties shed light on the varieties under examination and on the properties of English syntax more generally.
The nine contributions collected in this volume fall under a number of overlapping topics:
- variation in the expression of negation and modality
- pronouns and reflexives
- the relation between linguistic variation and language change
- the rise of “drama SO” among younger speakers
- the difficulty in establishing which phenomena cluster together and should be explained by a single point of parametric variation
These chapters delve into the syntactic analysis of individual phenomena, and an introduction by Raffaella and an afterword by Larry contextualize the issues and explore their semantic, pragmatic, and sociolinguistic implications. The index to the volume was prepared by PhD candidate Jason Zentz.
The website of the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, which is led by Raffaella and Jim and whose participants include Larry and several undergraduate and graduate students, has a page devoted to each of the constructions covered in depth in this volume, along with several others. Each phenomenon has a brief description with examples, a comprehensive bibliography, and an interactive map displaying the geographical distribution of examples found in the literature.