is Íslenska en English

Lokaverkefni (Bakkalár)

Háskóli Íslands > Hugvísindasvið > B.A. verkefni - Hugvísindasvið >

Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það:

  • Titill er á ensku Much Ado about the Crooked Mark: Morphosyntactic Ambiguity of the Prenominal Genitive in English and Confusion in Usage among Native Speakers
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    The apostrophe-based (prenominal) genitive construction has been present in English since the Old English period. Despite its historical depth and robustness, its actual usage, both in written and spoken language, reveals a significant lack of consistency and substantial confusion. This thesis provides evidence for the claim that such inconsistency in usage is caused by the native speakers’ uncertainty concerning the formal status of the apostrophe-based genitive construction.
    Theoretical uncertainty concerning the morphosyntactic status of the prenominal genitive construction reflects conflicting formal constraints on the prenominal genitive itself, which underlie speakers’ uncertainty in its usage. This uncertainty is even more acute in written usage, with style guides offering conflicting advice.
    This thesis opens with an overview of the evolution of the apostrophe-based genitive from Old English to Present-Day English in order to illustrate the origin of its current morphosyntactic ambiguity. The theoretical ambiguity of its morphosyntactic classification is grounded in the conflicting lexical and syntactic conditioning factors, which constrain a speaker’s usage of the construction. These conflicting conditioning factors are illustrated with examples of actual usage.
    The situation with the usage of the prenominal genitive in writing also creates a number of potentially confusing cases, which are addressed in a large number of formal style guides. However, even those style guides are inconsistent, and this learned knowledge often conflicts with the speaker’s grammatical instincts, largely based on the conditioning factors mentioned above, which results in such phenomenon as apostrophe confusion.
    The conclusion is that the modern English speaker does indeed face difficulties with using the prenominal genitive construction, which originate in the lack of unity in classifying the construction and subsequent inconsistency of its usage patterns.

  • 6.1.2020

Skráarnafn Stærð AðgangurLýsingSkráartegund 
Baraban_BAThesis_Full_Text.pdf523.3 kBOpinnHeildartextiPDFSkoða/Opna
Baraban_2020_Access_Scemman_Signed.pdf108.37 kBLokaðurYfirlýsingPDF