By Alison Henry
The examine of comparative syntax in heavily similar languages has yielded precious 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 structures and their usual English opposite numbers to achieve perception into either English syntax and syntactic idea quite often. within the strategy, she makes necessary facts 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)
C. *You do read that. (c) is of course only ungrammatical as an imperative: it is grammatical as an indicative. Belfast English Imperatives There are in fact two "subdialects" of Belfast English in relation to imperatives. In one, inversion is restricted to a subset of intransitive verbs; in the other, it is available with all verbs. We begin with some observations which apply to both varieties, before going on to look in detail at each variety individually. As noted above, Belfast English posesses not only the standard English imperative strategies but also an alternative strategy, involving a postverbal subject: as with standard English, the overt subject is most frequently second person: you, or its plurals youse and yousuns, but again it can be one of a limited range of other items: (47) a.
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).
106) John found out the explanation. Moreover, as Gueron (1987) points out, elements which have undergone Heavy NP Shift are in general islands for extraction, but post-particle NPs are not. (107) *What did you find unbelievable descriptions of? (108) What did you look up descriptions of? Whether or not these problems can be overcome, it is clear that simply from the point of view of word order we cannot see singular concord as involving Heavy NP Shift; singular concord subjects do not occur sentence-finally, but in the normal pre-verbal position.