Volume 35, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This multifactorial corpus-based study focuses on dative alternation constructions (Mark gave his daughter a gift versus Mark gave a gift to his daughter) and contrasts 1,313 give occurrences in ditransitive and prepositional dative constructions across native, learner (EFL) and world (ESL) Englishes. Using cluster analysis and regression modeling, I analyze how grammatical contexts constrain syntactic choices in EFL and ESL and how speakers with different instructional backgrounds develop different variation patterns in their own English variety. The regression model reveals that the English variety factor accounts significantly for syntactic variation. In addition, the study identifies a prototypical prepositional dative construction in non-native English, which serves as a default construction for learners in more complex grammatical contexts. This study stresses the importance of reaching beyond structural linguistic differences by investigating processing (dis)similarities between EFL and ESL and shows the usefulness of a cognitive theoretical framework as a unified approach to cross-varietal variation.


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