“Off with their heads”

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The main aim of our chapter is a methodological one, that of comparing a largely data-driven approach to regional variation in world Englishes and a corpus-based approach. As a case study, we examine tense, aspect and modality (TAM) differences between five varieties. Our investigation uses frequency differences in verb chunks and tags, based on syntactically annotated material from the International Corpus of English. Most of our results corroborate previous, corpus-based findings. The data-driven findings guide our qualitative investigation of the perfect tense, modal verbs and the progressive. While our approach is far from being fully automatic, only minimal manual interaction is needed for going through and filtering the top one or two dozen entries in ranked lists. Keywords: syntactically annotated data; data-driven approach; surprised-based measure


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