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

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Song, MyoungHyoun

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Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.8, pp. 28-42
Tough ConstructionExtraposition ConstructionSyntactic AlternationChi-squarelogistic regression
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)
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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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