In this final chapter, I will try to elaborate on essentially three areas that help to position the present book in current research on varieties and variation. These concern, firstly, cross-linguistically exceptional properties of standard and non-standard varieties of English, secondly, the discussion of angloversals and vernacular universals, and, thirdly, the apparent emergence of the new research field of ‘variationist’ or ‘sociolinguistic typology’.
Exceptional properties of English
As I pointed out in Chapter 1, the cross-linguistic approach adopted in this book helps us to separate the wheat from the chaff and to see the patterns of variation attested in varieties of English and their limitations more clearly. In all of the chapters discussing grammatical phenomena, we could observe morphosyntactic coding strategies that are common cross-linguistically, though we also encountered strategies that need to be considered exceptional and rare. In view of the fact that we focused on typological commonalities in the cross-linguistic sections of the preceding chapters, we will here shift the focus to those grammatical phenomena that appear idiosyncratic and infrequent from a cross-linguistic perspective.