A Corpus-based Study of Proper Names in Present-day English

Aspects of Gradience and Article Usage

by Grace Y. W. Tse (Author)
©2005 Thesis IX, 253 Pages
Series: English Corpus Linguistics, Volume 2


Based on a large sample of press data extracted from the British National Corpus (BNC), the book undertakes a detailed investigation of present-day English proper names, an important but under-researched area in English linguistics. Employing the statistical technique of binary logistic regression, this book presents a new method of analysing non-discrete categories in linguistics with reference to the grammatical notion of gradience and the principle of parsimony. The focus is particularly on the grammatical factors influencing the choice between use and non-use of the definite article – a well-known issue of uncertainty in modern English. The study also concentrates on multi-word organisation names, which have been little studied, although they occur frequently in newspaper language and have special characteristics of their own. By making precise predictive statements about the conditions under which the definite article is preferred or dispreferred, the book is also able to shed light on the theory of linguistic performance.


IX, 253
ISBN (Softcover)
Englisch Name Korpuslinguistik Englische Linguistik Englische Sprache Computerlinguistik Eigennamen Gegenwartssprache quantitative Linguistik
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. IX, 253 pp., num. tables, 8 fig.

Biographical notes

Grace Y. W. Tse (Author)

The Author: Grace Y. W. Tse is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at the Open University of Hong Kong. She teaches English linguistics and translation (English and Chinese). She received her M.A. in Linguistics for English Language Teaching and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Lancaster University.


Title: A Corpus-based Study of Proper Names in Present-day English