Social role effects on English particle verb variation fail to replicate

Naomi Lee, Laurel Mackenzie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The English particle verb alternation has been argued to be sensitive to the social role occupied by speakers on radio broadcasts; Kroch and Small (1978) argue that radio show hosts and in-studio guests' greater sensitivity to prescriptive norms makes them more likely to use the joined variant of the alternation than listeners calling in to the show. This study analyzes 10,521 tokens of variable particle verbs from the RadioTalk Corpus (Beeferman et al. 2019) to try to replicate the effect of speaker role. Our analysis confirms that direct object length, register, a measure of frequency, semantic compositionality of the particle verb, and the particle's prosody all condition the alternation. However, the effect of social role does not replicate.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)329-343
    Number of pages15
    JournalCanadian Journal of Linguistics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 16 2023


    • corpus linguistics
    • language ideology
    • particle verbs
    • syntactic variation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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