I ought to write a paper with corpus-based analysis of a lexical or morpho-syntactic alternation. In other words, the paper should deal with two (or more) nearly synonymous lexical items or morpho-syntactic patterns (or maybe constructions).

Details: The alternation should be studied from a 'multifactorial' perspective, which means that the effect of grammatical factors, discourse factors and lectal factors on the variation at hand is examined in one overarching model.

What are these alternations? Does anyone know of different examples of these alternations?

  • Welcome to Linguistics SE! It should be fairly simple to come up with a list of near synonyms. Just use a thesaurus.
    – robert
    Aug 18 '14 at 13:14
  • But I was asking, what alterations are! Thanks.
    – soshial
    Aug 19 '14 at 11:28
  • An alternation can be described as the choice between two (or more) similar alternatives - for example two synonyms.
    – robert
    Aug 19 '14 at 13:23

A typical alternation would be the un-/in- prefixes: un-common vs in-effective. They serve approximately the same purpose but combine with different bases. The distribution could be explained with various factors, hence the 'multifactorial' perspective.

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