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Socio-linguistic effects on conditional constructions: A quantitative typological study

  • Recent typological studies have shown that socio-linguistic factors have a substantial effect on at least certain structures of language. However, we are still far from understanding how such factors should be operationalized and how they interact with other factors in shaping grammar. To address both questions, this study examines the influence of socio-linguistic factors on the number of dedicated conditional constructions in a sample of 374 languages. We test the number of speakers, the degree of multilingualism, the availability of a literature tradition, the use of writing, and the use of the language in the education system. At the same time, we control for genealogical, contact, and bibliographical biases. Our results suggest that the number of speakers is the most informative predictor. However, we find that the association between the number of speakers and the number of dedicated conditional constructions is much weaker than assumed, once genealogical and contact biases are controlled for.

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Author:Laura BeckerGND, Matías Guzmán NaranjoORCiDGND, Samira OchsORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Sociolinguistic and Typological Perspectives on Language Variation
Series (Serial Number):Trends in linguistics : Studies and monographs (374)
Publisher:De Gruyter Mouton
Place of publication:Berlin/Boston
Editor:Silvia Ballarè, Guglielmo Inglese
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2023
Date of Publication (online):2023/10/30
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS) [Zweitveröffentlichung]
GND Keyword:Grammatik; Konditionalsatz; Mehrsprachigkeit; Modalität; Soziolinguistik
First Page:121
Last Page:153
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Program areas:L3: Lexik empirisch und digital
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt