Determining light verb constructions in contemporary British and Irish English
This study implements an automated parser-based approach to the investigation of light verb constructions. The database consisting of ICE-GB and ICE-IRE is used to obtain qualitative and quantitative results on the use of light verb structures. The study explains and evaluates the steps employed to optimize parser output in detecting open lists of light verb constructions. It discusses the qualitative usage differences of these structures in the data between the two varieties and finds that ICE-GB favours fewer high frequency light verbs while ICE-IRE contains more diverse lower frequency light verbs and more passives. Overall, counts of light verb constructions are considerably higher than previously assumed. The projected counts suggest that attestations of light verb constructions will increase considerably if the search is not restricted to certain high-frequency light verbs as is typically done in studies employing manual or semi-automatic approaches to data collection.
Keywords: light verb constructions, automatic parsing, collocation measures, British English, Irish English
Published online: 28 August 2015
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