Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This paper uses a multivariate analysis of variable agreement in existentials with plural reference in a corpus of Quebec English to determine the status of variable agreement as a vernacular universal. Excluding the frequent invariant form there’s from analysis, both structural and processing considerations are shown to operate. A separate multivariate analysis provides support for the hypothesis that there’s is a lexicalized form with its own set of constraints. Cross-variety comparison reveals little evidence of regional diversification and suggests instead that differences observed between studies reflect the distribution of data in each corpus. Similarities of language-internal constraints across studies provide support for variable agreement as a vernacular universal.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): agreement; English grammar; existentials; Variation
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