Verb-complementational profiles across varieties of English: Comparing verb classes in Indian English and British English

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It has been frequently noted that many characteristic features of New Englishes tend to cluster around the interface between lexis and grammar. Focusing on present-day standard Indian English, the largest second-language variety of English, Olavarría de Ersson and Shaw (2003) and Mukherjee and Hoffmann (2006) have shown in recent corpus-based pilot studies that there are also significant differences between Indian and British English in the complementation of ditransitive verbs. In the present paper, we will make use of a large web-derived corpus of Indian English newspapers and extend the analysis of verb complementation in Indian and British English from ditransitive verbs to a semantically and syntactically related class of verbs. Specifically, we will analyse some verbs that are typically associated with the ‘transfer-caused-motion construction’ (cf. Goldberg 1995), which we refer to as ‘TCM-related verbs’. Our findings show that Indian English also displays some interesting deviations from the verb-complementational profile of British English with regard to TCM-related verbs, which raises some more general questions about divergent transitivity trends in the two varieties.


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