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Paradigm Consistency and the Depiction of Stiltedness: The Case of than I versus than me

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2012.23014    4,510 Downloads   6,841 Views  
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ABSTRACT

Close adherence to prescriptive rules of grammar can sometimes produce stilted language, which can impart to language a pompous or stuffy impression. It is ironic that an island of potential unacceptability can arise within what is regarded as Standard English. In instances where prescriptive grammaticality and sociolinguistic appropriateness are in opposition, disagreements over language use can occur. Despite its impact, stiltedness has received little scholarly attention, probably because it is an intangible, subjective phenomenon. This paper investigates an indirect way to depict stiltedness through a quantitative measure. The example selected to demonstrate this approach is the rule of bare pronouns in comparative sentences. With tangible quantitative measurements of paradigm consistency and inconsistency, stiltedness may perhaps be understood more effectively.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Wulf, D. (2012). Paradigm Consistency and the Depiction of Stiltedness: The Case of than I versus than me. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 2, 105-113. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2012.23014.

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