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Embedded Inversion Worldwide

Daniela Kolbe / Andrea Sand
Published Online: 2013-02-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10318-012-0002-x


The inversion of (auxiliary) verb and subject in subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded inversion, or EI) is a feature that occurs in many non-standard varieties of English, especially in varieties that have developed in language contact situations, such as Irish English, East African English or Indian English. Various sources of origin have been proposed in previous research, among them substrate influence or transfer errors of learners in language contact situation. This paper introduces the phenomenon in question and provides an overview of previous research. Drawing on data of the International Corpus of English (ICE), it then presents the results of probabilistic statistic analyses (logistic regression) in order to identify which external and internal factors are strongest in elciting the inverted word order.

Keywords : syntax; non-standard syntax; worldwide varieties of English; reported speech; indirect questions; inversion

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About the article

This paper is a revised version of a paper presented at the first ISLE Conference at the University of Freiburg (Germany) in October 2008. We would like to thank the discussants of our paper and especially Michaela Hilbert for their valuable input.

Published Online: 2013-02-08

Published in Print: 2010-06-01

Citation Information: Linguaculture, Volume 2010, Issue 1, Pages 25–42, ISSN (Online) 2067-9696, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10318-012-0002-x.

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