Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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The present paper investigates the emergence of local norms in Indian English at the level of verb complementation, an area which so far has not attracted much attention in research into New Englishes. In attempting to describe the verb-complementational profile of Indian English, we offer a pilot study which combines a descriptive aim and a methodological aim. At the descriptive level, the present article focuses on ditransitive verbs and their complementation and addresses two related questions: (1) To what extent do the frequency and distribution of complementation patterns of specific ditransitive verbs (e.g. give) differ between Indian English and British English? (2) To what extent is the basic ditransitive pattern with two object noun phrases (e.g. in he sent Mary his warmest wishes) associated with different verbs in British English and Indian English? The present paper reveals that in both regards there are clear and identifiable differences in verb complementation between the two varieties. At the methodological level, this pilot study combines the use of balanced and representative subcorpora from the International Corpus of English (ICE) with the in-depth analysis of a much larger database that has been extracted from the Internet archive of the daily Indian newspaper The Statesman. This makes it possible to also detect examples of low-frequency constructions in Indian English, e.g. sporadic cases of ditransitive complementation of verbs such as advise, gift and impart.


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