A Perfect or a Preterit? Which one? And Why?
Gloria Otchere, ILOS
This talk discusses the effects of five linguistic factors – preceding tense, verb semantics, temporal adverbial, object form, clause type – on the choice of a Perfect via-à-vis a Preterit in locating events prior to speech time in Ghanaian English, British English and American English. Data for the study is drawn from the private conversation files of ICE-GH, ICE-GB and the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English, which, when completed, will form the spoken version of ICE-US. The data is analysed using binomial logistic regression. The results show that different factors constrain the choice of a Perfect vis-à-vis a Preterit in the three varieties of English.