8 Rhythm's role in genitive construction choice in spoken English [chapter]

Stephanie Shih, Jason Grafmiller, Richard Futrell, Joan Bresnan
Rhythm in Cognition and Grammar  
English has two syntactically distinct constructions for expressing the possessor and possessum relationship: the s-genitive and the of-genitive: (1) a. the car's wheel b. the wheel of the car The s-genitive (1a) is a single noun phrase, where the possessor car occurs before the possessum wheel accompanied by the possessive clitic -s. The of-genitive (1b) consists of two noun phrases, with the possessor car located in a prepositional phrase headed by of. The choice between the two English
more » ... e two English genitive constructions is not a free one. Rather, the choice of one genitive construction over the other is conditioned by the interaction of semantic, syntactic, phonological, and sociolinguistic factors (e.g., Rosenbach 2002, Hinrichs and Szmrecsányi 2007; Kreyer 2003; Szmrecsányi and Hinrichs 2008; Tagliamonte and Jarmasz 2008) . In this study, we examine the influence of rhythm, which has been known to interact with syntax, in predicting genitive construction choice in spoken English. We do so by incorporating rhythmic factors into a single model of genitive choice alongside previously identified predictors using logistic regression modeling. We find that while rhythm significantly influ-
doi:10.1515/9783110378092.207 fatcat:346syzp77jedlpoxkxg5oki6se