Volume 33, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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The literature suggests that animacy effects in present-day spoken New Zealand English (NZE) differ from animacy effects in other varieties of English. We seek to determine if such differences have a history in earlier NZE writing or not. We revisit two grammatical phenomena — progressives and genitives — that are well known to be sensitive to animacy effects, and we study these phenomena in corpora sampling 19th- and early 20th-century written NZE; for reference purposes, we also study parallel samples of 19th- and early 20th-century British English and American English. We indeed find significant regional differences between early New Zealand writing and the other varieties in terms of the effect that animacy has on the frequency and probabilities of grammatical phenomena.


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