Reconciling Synchrony, Diachrony and Usage in Verb Number Agreement with Complex Collective Subjects

15/03/2021

LVTC postdoc fellow Yolanda Fernández-Pena has just published the monograph entitled Reconciling Synchrony, Diachrony and Usage in Verb Number Agreement with Complex Collective Subjects (Routledge, 2020). This book uses corpus-based methodologies to investigate the wide variety of factors behind verb number agreement with complex collective noun phrases in English. Drawing on data from two case studies – one based on the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), and the other on the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) – Fernández-Pena uses statistical modelling to unpack the different morphological, syntactic, semantic and lexical dimensions of the variables affecting verb number agreement with complex collective noun phrases in English. Her multidimensional analysis of the significance of of-dependents in the patterning and contemporary usage of collective nouns offers new insight into and understanding of both synchronic variation and diachronic change.

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