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A CORPUS-BASED ANALYSIS OF T AND 'ME' VARIATION IN COORDINATE NOUN PHRASES by Nancy Romans Turley A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY May 2009 UMI Number: 3351520 INFORMATION TO USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. Broken or indistinct print, colored or poor quality illustrations and photographs, print bleed-through, substandard margins, and improper alignment can adversely affect reproduction. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if unauthorized copyright material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion. ® UMI UMI Microform 3351520 Copyright 2009 by ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This microform edition is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code. ProQuest LLC 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway PO Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106-1346 A CORPUS-BASED ANALYSIS OF T AND 'ME' VARIATION IN COORDINATE NOUN PHRASES by Nancy Romans Turley has been approved January 2009 Graduate Supervisory Committee: Karen Adams, Chair Elly van Gelderen Dawn Bates Mark Davies ACCEPTED BY THE GRADUATE COLLEGE ABSTRACT Language spoken today contains many non-prescribed constructions similar to "me and Chris quote that movie" or "please believe my wife and I." This study employed corpora extractions to examine these non-prescribed coordinated pronominal noun phrases (NP). Unlike listener reportings, this research was an equal opportunity study for all non-prescribed orderings of the T and 'me' coordinated pronoun NPs: [me and / [ and me], [I and ], and [ and I]. The use of 484 million words from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), the British National Corpus (BNC), the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English (MICASE), and the TIME Magazine Corpus gave an unbiased insight into the use of non-prescribed coordinated pronominal NP forms. The search process was designed to find only non-prescribed examples which were coordinated pronouns, not coordinated sentences. The non- prescribed coordinated pronominals found to be highest in frequency were [me and ], appearing 8.3 times per million words in the spoken corpora; [ and I] occurred 2.2 times per million words; [ and me] occurred 0.07 times per million words. The [I and /string exhibited little impact, with 0.07 tokens found per million words. The COCA contains spoken, fiction, newspaper, magazine, and academic genres. When searched for coordinated pronominals, the same pattern of string frequencies was found. TIME Magazine was used to view non-prescribed usage over an 85 year time span. The token count was small, but a comparison of iii generational forty-year time blocks showed a slight increase in 'me' tokens and a decrease in non-prescribed T tokens, indicating a direction of language change. This study also examined subjective complements and speakers' preferred case, verbs and prepositions preceding strings, and triple coordinates with T consistently in an internal position. Findings on location in the sentence of non-prescribed pronoun strings, case frequency with fragments and ellipses, idiomatic tendencies, and social variation portrayed in television and radio scripts are also discussed. It was found that non-prescribed [ and I] is present in hypercorrections, while objective [me and *]\s encroaching on subjective territory. IV TABLE OF CONTENTS Page LIST OF TABLES xi LIST OF FIGURES xvi INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of Dissertation 1 Method 3 Parameters Used for Analysis 7 Significance 10 Outline of Study 11 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 14 Prescriptivism and Language Change 14 A Standard Defined 15 Prescriptivism 18 Enforcers 26 Government 27 Grammarians 31 Publishers 37 A Changing Language 38 Leaning away from prescriptivism 40 Listening to the people 42 Communication as the Standard 45 Changes in Pronominal Coordinated NP Usage 47 v Page Prescriptive Pronoun Rules 47 Pronoun Changes 49 Historical evidence 49 Current examples 51 Pronoun Usage Varies Widely 51 Possible Explanations of Pronoun Variations 53 Inaccurate assimilation to Latin 53 Social variation 55 Politeness 58 Hypercorrection 60 Semantic environment 62 Syntactical considerations 68 Idiomatic speech 75 Lexical leveling 78 Local or pattern grammars 81 Summation of possible pronoun variation theories 82 Studying Variations of Pronominal Coordinated NPs 83 The old way 83 Using corpora 84 The Value of Corpora 85 Early Corpus Linguistics 85 At odds with Chomsky 86 vi Page Intuition'
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