Comparatives in the corpus: An explanation of the morphological structure of comparison in Czech on the basis of frequency of forms
A B S T R A C T
The aim of this paper is to thoroughly investigate the morphological marking of comparative and superlative synthetic forms of Czech adjectives and to show the role of frequency in explaining their structure. Based on functional usage-based approaches (the role of frequency effects and the relationship between frequency asymmetries and universal morphosyntactic asymmetries) and on natural written data from the Czech National Corpus, eight hypotheses on the relationship between frequency and the formal marking of Czech comparison forms were formulated. The main part of the text consists of a detailed analysis and examination of the given hypotheses, and, additionally, a complete classification of comparative forms in order to explore some of the frequency effects. The paper reaches two major conclusions: 1) the reducing frequency effect plays a significant role among comparative forms, and 2) frequency contributes to an explanation of the formal relations in individual types (classes of comparative forms). In general, frequency is revealed to be a good analytical tool which may, under controlled conditions, indicate and explain why language structures are the way they are.
Key words: comparison of adjectives, frequency, comparative, functional explanation, frequency effects, language corpus
Klíčová slova: stupňování adjektiv, frekvence, komparativ, funkční explanace, frekvenční efekty, jazykový korpus
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Předchozí Milada Hirschová: Performativnost a gramatické kategorie slovesa
Následující Barbara Schmiedtová, Eva Flanderková: Neurolingvistika: předmět, historie, metody