The role of individual variation in variationist corpus-based studies of priming

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Abstract

This paper addresses the relationship between individual variation and priming effects in variationist corpus-based linguistic studies. Over the past decade, researchers have argued for the consideration of hierarchical relationships in sociolinguistic data (Johnson 2009) and corpus linguistic data (Gries 2015). While much of the emphasis on hierarchical relationships has pertained to macro-level predictors such as sociolinguistic social factors that are properties of the groupings in the data, speaker for example, than any one observation in particular, failure to account for this grouping relationship can affect the accuracy of estimates of micro-level predictors. Using a corpus of educated spoken Portuguese from Fortaleza, Brazil, this study investigates priming effects in the reduction of para ‘to, for, in order to’ to p(r)a. In particular, this study finds that many speakers in the sample show no positive evidence for priming and, furthermore, that the importance of the previous occurrence predictor is overstated due to the wide individual differences in the present data set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-124
Number of pages32
JournalItalian Journal of Linguistics
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Generalized linear (mixed-effects) models
  • Hierarchical data
  • Portuguese para
  • Priming
  • Speaker-specific effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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