Particle verbs in African Englishes

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On the basis of various Internet sources, we investigate the use of particle verbs (PVs) in Ugandan and other African Englishes. Following Biber et al. (1999) we classify PVs into four major types; their distribution is very similar to that reported for native varieties. We find a number of “innovative” PVs that are not recorded in the major phrasal verb dictionaries. We consider these in relation to “nativization” in new Englishes. Frequency of use in formal contexts suggests that they are at least widely accepted, while the remaining formal restrictions (e.g. passivization) indicate that they are not (yet) fully nativized. Different PV types may undergo nativization at different rates. In future research in this area, the various types should be studied separately. Keywords: particle verbs; African English; new Englishes; nativization; Webbased corpora


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