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A topic which I want to know more about – preposition placement in finite WH-relative clauses in World Englishes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2024

Department of English Language and Linguistics Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt Universitätsallee 1 85072 Eichstätt Germany


The present article analyzes the use of preposition stranding (the world which we live in) and pied-piping (the world in which we live) in finite WH-relative clauses in twelve varieties of English. In the light of previous studies, it assumes that the strength of processing constraints and formality effects that drive speakers’ constructional choices should correlate with Dynamic Model stages (Schneider 2007). However, drawing on data from the International Corpus of English (ICE) and using mixed-effects logistic regression analysis, the study shows that processing factors affect speakers of all Dynamic Model stages in a very similar way. At the same time, clear differences between variety stages are observed with respect to formality and topic, which strongly affect Phases IV and V but not Phase III. These results are interpreted from a Usage-based Construction Grammar perspective.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press

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The present study was funded by a German Research Foundation (DFG) grant (HO 3904/7-1).


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