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How to trace structural nativization: particle verbs in world Englishes

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This paper examines particle or “multi‐word” verbs in five ICE corpora: East Africa, Great Britain, India, the Philippines and Singapore. It begins with the hypothesis that particle verbs can develop variety‐specific properties in several areas, including incidence and frequency of use, structural behavior, and productivity range. Systematic differences were found between the varieties under investigation. In particular, Singapore English was found to exhibit not only the highest frequency of particle verbs, but also the widest range of types in its structural uses and its formal and semantic creativity. In the case of certain particle verbs, it was found that certain forms and meanings predominate in specific countries, although the limited size of the datasets, and the consequent low frequencies of individual particle verbs, makes generalization difficult.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of English and American Studies, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany. Email:, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 May 2004

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