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Title:The V+V construction in Singaporean English
Author(s):Li, Lin
Serial verbs
Singaporean English
Language contact
Geographic Coverage:Singapore
Abstract:The V+V construction in Singaporean English displays properties which are different from the serial verb constructions (SVCs) in British and American English like go buy newspaper. This construction of Singaporean English has often been referred to as a serial verb construction such as by Platt, Weber & Ho (1984) and subsequently Ritchie (1986), Ho & Platt (1993) and Bao (2010) who referred to the work of Platt, Weber & Ho (1984). However, these researchers did not provide clear definitions or strong arguments for why the V+V construction belongs to SVCs. This paper presents a quantitative research using the Corpus of Web-based Global English. A survey on the acceptability of the V+V construction was also conducted. Checking this construction against the properties of SVCs proposed by Aikhenvald (2006) shows that not all the V+V constructions are prototypical members of SVCs. It is likely that both “standard English” and Chinese had influence on the formation of this construction in Singaporean English. There are structures in “standard” English which are superficially similar to SVCs and there are SVCs in Chinese. Speakers of Singaporean English might have applied the structures from “standard” English to a larger range of verbs, tenses, aspects and numbers of subject than in British English.
Issue Date:2015-07-06
Publisher:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 40: 1-16
Rights Information:Copyright © 2015 Lin Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-06

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