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Pregled bibliografske jedinice broj: 643527

A corpus study of the generic third person singular pronoun in American English


Grabar, Maja
A corpus study of the generic third person singular pronoun in American English 2013., diplomski rad, diplomski, Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb


Naslov
A corpus study of the generic third person singular pronoun in American English

Autori
Grabar, Maja

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Ocjenski radovi, diplomski rad, diplomski

Fakultet
Filozofski fakultet

Mjesto
Zagreb

Datum
25.09

Godina
2013

Stranica
28

Mentor
Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan

Ključne riječi
Third person pronoun; generic use; American English; anaphora

Sažetak
The goals of this paper are to examine and compare the usage of generic third person singular pronouns in English and to examine the factors that influence the choice of pronoun. In order to do this, usage of third person pronouns (he, she, he or she, they) with anaphoric reference to indefinite personal pronouns (anybody, anyone, everybody, everyone, nobody, no one, somebody, someone) will be examined. The usage of third person pronouns will be examined in general within the entire sample, with respect to the medium, with respect to the type of text in which they appear, and with respect to the indefinite personal pronoun used as the antecedent. The first hypothesis is that they will be used more often than the singular forms overall, that he as well as he or she and similar combined forms will be used less frequently, and that she will be used very rarely. It is also assumed that they will be the most frequently used form with each particular indefinite pronoun. The second hypothesis is that they will be used more frequently in spoken language than in written language and that the reverse will be true for he and the combined masculine-feminine forms. The third hypothesis is that they will be used more frequently in informal contexts than in formal contexts with the reverse being true for he, and that he or she will be especially frequent in academic texts. Accordingly, they will appear more frequently and the singular forms less frequently with indefinite pronouns ending in –body than with those ending in –one since those ending in –one are more formal. The results confirm the first and third hypothesis and partially confirm the second hypothesis. All in all, the results show that singular they is the most acceptable pronoun for use with indefinite personal pronouns. The prescribed generic he was shown to be restricted to highly edited text and he or she used only rarely. The results also show that usage in a particular situation will be influenced by speaker characteristics (such as education), formality, medium, and context. However, overall explanations for the acceptability of they and the inadequacy of he are to be found in the historical development of English, the social changes and social movements that started in the 1970s as well as in the internal structure of English.

Izvorni jezik
Engleski

Znanstvena područja
Filologija



POVEZANOST RADA


Ustanove
Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb