English comparative correlative constructions: A usage-based account

Thomas Hoffmann, Thomas Brunner, Jakob Horsch
2020 Open Linguistics  
AbstractEnglish Comparative Correlatives (CCs) consist of two clauses, C1 and C2:[The more we get together,]C1 [the happier we'll be.]C2Recently, large corpus studies based on the Corpus of Contemporary American English have unearthed various meso-constructions in English CCs using covarying–collexeme analysis. The present study tests these findings against data from the British National Corpus (BNC), aiming to replicate previous results against data from another standard variety of English
more » ... tish English) and a corpus that is sampled from a wider range of registers. Over 2,000 CC tokens from the BNC were analyzed with regard to hypotactic features, filler types encountered as comparative elements, and deletion phenomena. Moreover, in contrast to earlier corpus studies (such as Hoffmann, Thomas, Jakob Horsch, and Thomas Brunner. 2019. "The more data, the better: a usage-based account of the English comparative correlative construction." Cognitive Linguistics 30(1): 1–36), the present study also investigates the frequency of the semantically related C2C1 construction (You will be the happierC2, the more we get togetherC1) that previously has been found to be considerably less frequent than its counterpart. The results of the present analysis confirm that English CCs possess more paratactic than hypotactic features and, supporting most of the findings of Hoffmann, Horsch, and Brunner (2019) provide even stronger evidence for the existence of several symmetric meso-constructions.
doi:10.1515/opli-2020-0012 fatcat:2xslkouhxjbjlc4me5jtlyqx64