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Variety and Variability

A Corpus-based Cognitive Lexical-semantics Analysis of Prepositional Usage in British, New Zealand and Malaysian English

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Imran Ho-Abdullah

Research into varieties of Englishes around the world has received much attention from scholars. This book offers a new perspective from a cognitive inter and intra lexemic analysis of prepositional variations in Malaysian English and contrasts them with similar prepositions in New Zealand and British English. Based on corpora data from the three varieties, the author provides usage types analysis of the prepositions at, in and on. The analysis exploits cognitive approaches to prepositional polysemy and gives a motivated account of prepositional variations across varieties. The book offers a wealth of corpus based linguistic data and explanation to our understanding of variations in prepositional usage in different varieties of English. The distributional frequencies of various usage types are provided to illustrate the variation.

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List of Figures xv

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List of Figures Figure 1.1 A taxonomy of varieties of English (Quirk 1995:23) ........ 7 Figure 2.1 Spatial uses of the prepositions (from CGEL Fig. 9.15 Space and dimension) ...................................................... 55 Figure 3.1 A network structure ......................................................... 77 Figure 3.2 Radial network of extensions of at (adapted from Dirven 1993:77) ....................................... 88 Figure 3.3 Radial network of extensions of in (adapted from Dirven 1993:79) ....................................... 89 Figure 3.4 Radial network of extensions of on (adapted from Dirven 1993:78) ....................................... 90 Figure 5.1 Pattern of at usage-types distribution in the NZC ......... 140 Figure 5.2 Pattern of at usage-types distribution in the MC ........... 141 Figure 5.3 Pattern of at usage-types distribution in the LOB ......... 141 Figure 5.4 The distribution of different types of at across the three corpora ................................................. 143 Figure 6.1 Pattern of in usage-types distribution in the NZC ......... 159 Figure 6.2 Pattern of in usage-types distribution in the MC ........... 160 Figure 6.3 Pattern of in usage-types distribution in the LOB ......... 160 Figure 6.4 The distribution of different types of in across the three corpora ................................................. 162 Figure 7.1 Pattern of on usage-types distribution in the NZC ........ 187 Figure 7.2 Pattern of on usage-types distribution in the MC .......... 188 Figure 7.3 Pattern of on usage-types distribution in the LOB ........ 188 Figure 7.4 The distribution of different types of on across the three corpora ................................................. 190

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