Three factors and beyond: Socio-syntax and language acquisition
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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This paper investigates the gradient nature of acceptability judgements and grammatical variants in the bilectal population of Cyprus, by comparatively discussing the findings of two recent experiments on (i) exhaustivity effects in Cypriot Greek clefts and embu ‘it is that’-structures (Leivada et al. 2013) and (ii) clitic placement and how it is affected by lexical and syntactic stimulation (Papadopoulou et al. 2014). The analysis lays emphasis on the intra-dialectal variation observed across speakers’ performance in both experiments. Variation is discussed in relation to socio-syntactic aspects of language use, such as (i) the existence of competing grammars (Tsiplakou 2007, in press) and competing motivations (Grohmann & Leivada 2012, to appear) in bilectal environments such as the one in Cyprus, (ii) the notion of gradience existent within a dialect–standard continuum (e.g. Cornips 2006 for Dutch, Leivada et al. 2013 for Greek), and (iii) syntactic/semantic factors that inform our participants’ performance. Keywords: acceptability judgments; clefts; clitics; Cypriot Greek; gradience; embu; exhaustivity; competing grammars


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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