The Envelope of Variation and the Formation of the Corpus

Ricardo Otheguy and Ana Celia Zentella

in Spanish in New York

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199737406
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918621 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

The Envelope of Variation and the Formation of the Corpus

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The envelope of variation determines eligible verbs respecting the principle of accountability. Eligible verbs are all and only those finite verb tokens that occur with a subject personal pronoun but could easily have occurred without one, plus all and only those verb tokens that occur without a pronoun but could have easily occurred with one. Many complications arise. Some verb types inside the envelope of variation are not eligible for practical research reasons, among them those in subject relatives and in references to inanimates. Some pronouns are not included because they are not in construction with verbs, among them left‐dislocated and logophoric items. Some inconsistencies are purposely introduced, as dialectology trumps statistics. Decisions are made with respect to context types, not on an ad hoc, case‐by‐case basis. An extensive passage is analyzed illustrating inclusions and exclusions.

Keywords: envelope of variation; circumscribing data; principle of accountability; eligible verbs; included verbs; excluded verbs; subject relatives; left peripherals; logophoric pronouns

Chapter.  11391 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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