Lexical frequency and syntactic variation
Subject pronoun use in Mandarin Chinese
With the rise of exemplar theory, the role of lexical frequency in language variation has been the object of considerable study. Recently, Erker and Guy (2012) extended the analysis of frequency to morphosyntactic variation and examined the role of frequency in variation between null and overt subject personal pronouns (SPPs) in Spanish. Their results suggest that frequency either activates or amplifies the effects of other constraints, such as co-reference. This study extends the study of frequency effects on SPP variation to Mandarin Chinese. Results of multivariate analysis of 6,691 tokens collected from Mandarin speakers in Harbin, China indicate that the effect of frequency on Chinese SPP variation is less than that of other well-established constraints such as co-reference and person and number. The results suggest that the role of frequency in this area of the grammar has been considerably exaggerated. Rather, well-established linguistic constraints provide a better explanation for SPP variation than frequency.
Keywords: lexical frequency, language variation, subject pronoun, Mandarin Chinese
Keywords: 词频, 语言变体, 主语代词, 汉语
Published online: 06 February 2019
Bayley, Robert, & Pease-Alvarez, Lucinda
Bayley, Robert, Greer, Kristen A., & Holland, Cory
[ p. 158 ]
Caravalho, Ana M., Orozco, Rafael, & Lapidus Shin, Naomi
Chafe, Wallace L.
Erker, Daniel, & Guy, Gregory R.
Francis, W. Nelson, & Kučera, Henry
Huang, C.-T. James
Jia, Li, & Bayley, Robert
Johnson, Daniel E.
Jurafsky, Daniel, Bell, Alan, Gregory, Michelle, & Raymond, William D.
Labov, William, Ash, Sharon, & Boberg, Charles
Labov, William, Cohen, Paul, Robins, Clarence, & Lewis, John
Li, Charles N., & Thompson, Sandra A.
[ p. 159 ]
Li, Xiaoshi, Chen, Xiaoqing, & Chen, Wen-Hsin
Lust, Barbara, Chien, Yu-Chin, Chi, Chiang-Pang, & Eisele, Julie
Martínez-Sanz, Cristina, & Van Herk, Gerard
(2013, May). Saying nothing: Frequency effects in Dominican Spanish null subjects. Paper presented at Conference on Change and Variation, Canada, Toronto.
McKee, Rachel, Schembri, Adam, McKee, David, & Johnston, Trevor
Mougeon, Raymond, Nadasdi, Terry, & Rehner, Katherine
Neeleman, Ad, & Szendrői, Kriszta
Otheguy, Ricardo, & Zentella, Ana Celia
Sankoff, David, Tagliamonte, Sali A., & Smith, Eric
Santa Ana, Otto
Schecter, Sandra R., & Bayley, Robert
Walker, James A.
Wulf, Alyssa, Dudis, Paul, Bayley, Robert, & Lucas, Ceil
Xiao, Richard, Rayson, Paul, & McEnery, Tony[ p. 160 ]
Cited by other publications
Kanwit, Matthew & Kimberly L. Geeslin
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 03 november 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.