Embedded Inversion Worldwide

Open access


The inversion of (auxiliary) verb and subject in subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded inversion, or EI) is a feature that occurs in many non-standard varieties of English, especially in varieties that have developed in language contact situations, such as Irish English, East African English or Indian English. Various sources of origin have been proposed in previous research, among them substrate influence or transfer errors of learners in language contact situation. This paper introduces the phenomenon in question and provides an overview of previous research. Drawing on data of the International Corpus of English (ICE), it then presents the results of probabilistic statistic analyses (logistic regression) in order to identify which external and internal factors are strongest in elciting the inverted word order.

Biber, Douglas et al. (eds.). 1999. Longman Grammar of Spoken And Written English. London: Longman.

Braidi, Susan. M. 1999. The Acquisition of Second-Language Syntax. London: Arnold.

Catford, J. C. 1957. The Linguistic Survey of Scotland. Orbis 6:105-121.

Denison, David. 1998. 3. Syntax. In Suzanne Romaine (ed.), The Cambridge History of the English Language, Vol. IV: 1776-1997, 92-329. Cambridge: CUP.

Dulay, Heidi & Marina Burt. 1974. Natural Sequences in Child Second Language Acquisition. Language Learning 24:253-278.

Filppula, Markku. 2000. Inversion in Embedded Questions in Some Regional Varieties of English. In Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero et al. (eds.), Generative Theory And CorpusStudies: A Dialogue from 10 ICEHL, 439-453. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Filppula, Markku. 2004. Irish English. Morphology and Syntax. In Bernd Kortmann et al. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English, Vol. 2: Morphology and Syntax, 73-101. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Fludernik, Monika. 1993. The Fictions of Language and the Languages of Fiction: The Linguistic Representation of Speech and Consciousness. London & New York: Routledge.

Harris, John. 1993. The Grammar of Irish English. In Leslie Milroy & James Milroy (eds.), Real English: The Grammar of English Dialects in the British Isles, 139-186. London: Longman.

Henry, Alison. 1995. Belfast English And Standard English, New York & Oxford: OUP.

Hilbert, Michaela. 2008. Interrogative Inversion in Varieties of English: A Case of Angloversals? Paper presented at ISLE 1, Freiburg, 8 October 2008.

Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum. 2002. The Cambridge Grammar of theEnglish Language. Cambridge: CUP.

Kolbe, Daniela. 2001. Embedded Inversion in the North of the British Isles, unpubl. M.A. thesis, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Kolbe, Daniela. 2008. Complement Clauses in British Englishes, unpubl. Ph.D thesis, Universität Trier.

McDavid, Virginia Glenn & William Card. 1972. Problem Areas in Grammar. In A. L. Davis (ed.), Culture, Class and Language Variety: A Resource Book for Teachers, 89-132. Chicago: Center for American English, Illinois Institue of Technology.

Menard, Scott. 2002. Applied Logistic Regression Analysis. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, London & New Delhi: SAGE.

Miller, Jim. 1993. The Grammar of Scottish English. In James Milroy & Leslie Milroy (eds.), Real English: The Grammar of English Dialects in the British Isles, 99-138. London & New York: Longman.

Miller, Jim & Regina Weinert. 1998. Spontaneous Spoken Language: Syntax andDiscourse. Oxford: OUP.

Ohlander, Sölve. 1986. Question-Orientation Versus Answer-Orientation in English Interrogative Clauses. In Dieter Kastovsky & Aleksander Szwedek (eds.), Linguisticsacross Historical and Geographical Boundaries, 963-982. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Pampel, Fred C. 2000. Logistic Regression: A Primer. Thousand Oaks, London & New Delhi: SAGE.

Parry, David. 1999. A Grammar and Glossary of the Conservative Anglo-Welsh Dialectsof Rural Wales. Sheffield: The National Centre for English Cultural Tradition.

Penhallurick, Robert. 1991. The Anglo-Welsh Dialects of North Wales. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

Platt, John T., Heidi Weber & Mian Lian Ho. 1984. The New Englishes. London: Routledge.

Quirk, Randolph et al. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.

Sabban, Annette. 1982. Gälisch-Englischer Sprachkontakt: Zur Variabilität desEnglischen im gälischsprachigen Gebiet Schottlands. Eine empirische Studie. Heidelberg: Groos.

Sand, Andrea. 1999. Linguistic Variation in Jamaica: A Corpus-Based Study of Radioand Newspaper Usage. Tübingen: Narr.

Sand, Andrea. 2005. Angloversals? Morphosyntactic Parallels in Contact Varieties of English, unpubl. Habilitationsschrift, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Schmied, Josef. 2004. East African English (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania): Morphology and Syntax. In Bernd Kortmann et al. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English,Vol. 2: Morphology and Syntax, 918-930. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Schmied, Josef. 2008. East African English (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania): Morphology and Syntax. In Rajend Meshtrie (ed.), Varieties of English, Vol. 4: Africa, South andSoutheast Asia, 451-471. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Simo Bobda, Augustin. 1998. The Indigenization of English in Cameroon and NewEnglishisms. Essen: LAUD.

Sridhar, S. N. 1992. The Ecology of Bilingual Competence: Language Interaction in the Syntax of Indigenized Varieties of English. World Englishes 11:141-150.

Sridhar, S. N. 1996. Toward a Syntax of South Asian English. In Robert J. Baumgardner (ed.), South Asian English: Structure, Use and Users, 55-69. Urbana, IL: U of Illinois P.

Tay, Mary. 1982. The Uses, Users and Features of Singapore English. In John Pride (ed.), New Englishes, 51-70. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Thomas, Alan R. 1997. The Welshness of Welsh English: A Survey Paper. In Hildegard L. C. Tristram (ed.), The Celtic Englishes, 55-85. Heidelberg: Winter.


The Journal of Linguaculture Centre for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 60 60 11
PDF Downloads 15 15 3