Language Variation and Change vol:21 issue:3 pages:319-353
Drawing on terminology, concepts, and ideas developed in quantitative morphological typology, the present study takes an exclusive interest in the coding of grammatical information. It offers a sweeping overview of intralingual variability in terms of overt grammatical analyticity (the text frequency of free grammatical markers), grammatical syntheticity (the text frequency of bound grammatical markers), and grammaticity (the text frequency of grammatical markers, bound or free) in English. The variational dimensions investigated include geography, text types, and real time. Empirically, the study taps into a number of publicly accessible text corpora that comprise a large number of different varieties of English. Results are interpreted in terms of how speakers and writers seek to achieve communicative goals while minimizing different types of complexity.