Morphosyntactic features of Northern English

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This chapter examines grammatical features in Northern varieties of English. With the notable exception of Kortmann and Szmrecsanyi (2004), typologies of English dialects adduce dialect regions according to phonological or lexical criteria. The dearth of systematic knowledge about features “above and beyond phonology” (Sankoff 1973) makes it difficult to assess their geographical distribution and linguistic conditioning. We are thus not really in a position to generalise across grammars of Northern Englishes per se (see Beal 2004: 114). This chapter synthesises findings from various research projects, both diachronic and synchronic in order to sketch “dialect landscapes” (Britain 2010: 72), i.e. zones of grammatical differentiation across the North. We will also place these varieties in a typological context, so as to highlight the extent to which certain features can indeed be considered truly “Northern”.


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