Presentation on theme: "British vs. American Word Forms Is there a significant difference between British and American word choice?"— Presentation transcript:
British vs. American Word Forms Is there a significant difference between British and American word choice?
Choosing Words Type A: British vs. American wordsType B: Formal vs. Informal words Pram vs. Stroller WC vs. Bathroom Crisps vs. Potato chips Keen on vs. Excited about Spelt vs. Spelled Sneaked vs. Snuck Shall vs. Will Thought vs. Thunk Squeezed vs. Squoze Had drunk vs. Had drank
RESEARCHING ON CORPORA
http :// corpus.byu.edu/bnc/x.aspBNC
COCABNC sneaked snuck62511 shrank *had shrank20 had shrunk19347 *shrunk had drunk had drank61 drank drunk keen on excited about burned burnt Compiling data from corpora
ARE THESE NUMBERS SIGNIFICANT? “The first question you are now faced with is how can you find out whether this distribution of modal auxiliaries is potentially important, i.e. whether, mathematically speaking, it is statistically significant. A distribution is said to be statistically significant if the likelihood that it has come about accidentally is below a certain level.” --ANATOL STEFANOWITSCH
Calculating Chi (X) Distribution of Two Verbs in Two Varieties of English BNCCOCA burned burnt Add rows, columns and table for totals 2.Multiply row and column totals then divide by table total 3.Find the difference between observed and expected frequencies 4.Square it 5.Divide it by the observed frequency 6.Add up all four cell values for Chi value
Chi Results Type A: British vs. American words Type B: Formal vs. Informal words COCABNCCHI keen on excited about pram stroller7351 bathroom WC potato chips crisps windshield windscreen COCABNCCHI sneaked snuck thought thunk21718 will shall dreamed dreamt burned burnt840988
Chi Significance df5.0%1.0%0.1% Significance: Distribution of Two Verbs in Two Varieties of English BNCCOCAChi value burned burnt Results:
Percentages Distribution of Two Verbs in Two Varieties of English BNCCOCAChi value burned burnt British use burnt as a verb 42% of the time. Americans use burnt as a verb 8% of the time.
More Percentages Type A: British vs. American wordsType B: Formal vs. Informal words British %American % keen on781 excited about 2299 pram stroller.490 bathroom9199 WC91 potato chips183 crisps9917 windshield793 windscreen937 British %American % sneaked 9255 snuck 8 45 will9298 shall82 dreamed7389 dreamt2711 burned5993 burnt417
Conclusion: Yes, there is a significant difference between British and American word choice.
Future Work Compare other dialects of English Include more words Focus specifically on ending words with –t instead of –ed endings Research difference between spoken and written language