Edited by Guyanne Wilson and Michael Westphal
[Varieties of English Around the World G68] 2023
► pp. 65–83
This study assesses the potential of using conversation analytic methodology to investigate syntactic variation in New Englishes. It analyses transcripts and audio files of face-to-face interactions between speakers of Caribbean and Southeast Asian Englishes and illustrates how syntax provides essential clues allowing interactants to project upcoming places of speaker change. Current speakers might adapt their turns underway to avoid transition to a next speaker, but speaker groups differ when it comes to which syntactic constructions they prefer in this context. As these interactional preferences seem to correlate with linguistic preferences (such as a high frequency of topicalization), the present study suggests that they constitute a case of emergent grammar, and hence should be considered a factor in investigating syntactic variation.