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Predicting the Probability of Tough Construction from the Tough Object's Syntactic Category

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Authors
Song, MyoungHyoun
Issue Date
2009
Publisher
Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
Citation
SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.8, pp. 28-42
Keywords
Tough ConstructionExtraposition ConstructionSyntactic AlternationChi-squarelogistic regression
Abstract
This paper sets forth the syntactic alternation between the tough construction (TC, e.g. The bear is easy to see.’) and the tough-related extraposition construction (EC, e.g. It is easy to see the bear.’). The TC-EC alternation shows proportional difference in the overall ratio of TC to EC (4:6). This difference is accounted for by syntactic factors such as ‘Syntactic Category’, ‘Modification’. The odds ratio of TC to EC in the ‘Syntactic Category’ was 8.9:1.1 for ‘Pronoun’, 4.2:5.8 for ‘DP’, 1.4:8.6 for ‘NP’, and 0:10 for ‘CP’. The odds in the ‘Modification’ was 6.4 to 3.6 for ‘Head-only’, 3.3:6.7 for ‘Premodified’, 0:10 for ‘Postmodified’. With the ‘Syntactic Category’ remaining as the only single predictor variable of the probability of the TC, a pronoun tough object is 45.5 times more likely to occur in TC than an NP tough object, 10.5 times than a DP tough object. These findings were obtained by a chi-square test of independence and a logistic regression analysis with 100 tough-related utterances from the spoken texts of on-line corpus COCA. (Seoul National University)
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/21464
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU working papers in English language and linguisticsSNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.08 (2009)
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