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Variety and Variability

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


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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7. Reflecting on ‘on’ 187


187 CHAPTER 7 Reflecting on on 7.0 Introduction In this chapter, the results of the usage-type analysis of on will be presented. As with the other two items, the range of usage-types for on spans the eight domains identified in Chapter 3. The total data-set for on contained 3,771 tokens (1,274 token in the MC, 1352 tokens in the NZC and 1145 token in the LOB (Press) Corpus). All 3,771 tokens were categorised into one of nine categories: the eight usage-type categories and an Unresolved category). FIGURE 7.1: Pattern of on usage-types distribution in the NZC. 188 Like at and in, the general pattern of distribution of the various usage- types of on is also more or less retained, regardless of corpora (see Figures 7.1-7.3. FIGURE 7.2: Pattern of on usage-types distribution in the MC. FIGURE 7.3: Pattern of on usage-types distribution in the LOB (Press). 189 However, further statistical analyses reveal that there are significant differences in the relative frequencies and ranking of the usage-types in the three corpora. The results of the statistical analyses and an examina- tion of the usage of on in the MC are reported in Sections 7.1 and 7.2. 7.1 Frequencies of the different usage-types of on Table 7.1 presents the raw frequencies and percentages for the different usage-types of on across the three corpora. Figure 7.4 displays the relative frequencies (in percentages) of each usage-type across the three corpora. on MC NZC LOB (Press) Spatial 224 (17.58%) 252 (18.64%) 206...

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