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The University of Southampton
Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research

It’s just one of this things: dialect syntax and demonstratives in Scots  Seminar

29 October 2020
on Zoom

Event details

This is a joint presentation with the University of Essex. In the first part of this talk, E Jamieson introduces the Scots Syntax Atlas (SCOSYA - joint work with Jennifer Smith (Glasgow), David Adger (QMUL), Caroline Heycock (Edinburgh) & Gary Thoms (NYU)). SCOSYA is a major new resource for the study of syntactic variation and change, bringing together over 100,000+ acceptability judgments and 275 hours of recorded conversation to build a searchable atlas of present-day Scots varieties. In the second part of the talk, E Jamieson presents a case study on the syntax of demonstratives in Scots. Demonstratives like this and that indicate how far from a speaker an object is. English distinguishes between this/that for one object and these/those for multiple objects, but in northern Scots, this and that can be used regardless of how many objects there are (1-2). 1. I was just looking at that thing on the wall. 2. You know that things you get on Facebook? [Eng: those things] However, while a sentence like (2) – where that combines with a noun, things – is acceptable to northern Scots speakers, the example in (3) – where that acts as a pronoun – is not. 3. I point to a stack of books and say: *I bought that yesterday. [Eng: I bought those yesterday] Drawing on data from SCOSYA, E Jamieson explores alternative strategies that northern Scots speakers use in contexts like (3), and I discuss what the difference between (2) and (3) means for the syntax of demonstratives more generally.

Speaker information

E Jamieson,University of Southampton

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