On quantity and quality in syntactic variation studies
This paper discusses some methodological issues in variation studies, drawing mainly on experience gathered in work on syntactic variation in Insular Scandinavian. First, it demonstrates the importance of having a large number of informants if you want to get a reliable picture of the distribution of certain variants or the ongoing development behind syntactic variation. Second, it is shown that different elicitation methods, e.g. absolute vs. relative judgments, can complement each other since they do not always yield the same kind of information. Third, the paper gives a partial answer to the question whether Faroese is moving towards Mainland Scandinavian.
- 2.Doing large scale studies to avoid the Forrest Gump Effect
- 3.Relative judgments and absolute judgments can complement each other
- 4.Correlations between judgments – and limits of strictly parametric approaches
- 4.1Correlation between acceptance of the NIP and selected constructions
- 4.2Looking for correlations between syntactic constructions in Faroese
- 4.3The limits of parametric approaches to variation
- 5.Is Faroese moving away from Insular Scandinavian?
- 6.Concluding remarks