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Verbal and pronominal concord with collective nouns in written British English
2004 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

For learners of English, concord patterns often provide problems in the learning process. For both learners and native speakers, there is often confusion about words that vary in number concord, like collective nouns. Collective nouns can have either singular or plural antecedents; some occur mostly with either whilst others vary according to the context. There are several reasons for the concord number, such as the context of the word in the sentence and the affect of preceding words, so called attraction. This study investigates the verbal and pronominal concord with six collective nouns: class (working class and middle class), jury, people (referring to nationality), personnel, sports teams when the name of the country is used (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), and proper names of TV stations in Britain (BBC, Channel 4, Eurosport, GMTV, and ITV). A corpus of The Guardian and The Observer from 1996 and 2002 has been used to look for the collective nouns together with verbs and personal pronouns. The study also analyses reasons for using singular and plural concord with the help of example sentences from the corpus. The study found that most of the collectives were used together with plural concord, the exceptions being TV companies, which had more singular pronouns, and class, jury, and TV companies, which had more singular than plural verbs. Thus, there were overall more singular verbs than singular pronouns. The conclusion is that it is difficult to explain why some words are used more with singular or plural concord, but a copus-based investigation can provide statistics that shows how some collectives are used and that might be of help for English learners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , 24 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53912Local ID: ENG D-14OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53912DiVA: diva2:1102472
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf