Russian Linguistics

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 283–308 | Cite as

Morphological variation and sensitivity to frequency of forms among native speakers of Czech

  • Neil Bermel
  • Luděk Knittl
  • Jean Russell


This article looks at inter-speaker variation in two environments: the genitive and locative singular cases of masculine ‘hard inanimate’ nouns in Czech, using a large-scale survey of native speakers that used two tasks to test their preferences for certain forms (acceptability) and their choices (gap filling). Our hypothesis that such variation exists was upheld, but only within limited parameters. Most biographical data (age, gender, education) played no role in respondents’ choices or preferences. Their region of origin played a small but significant role, although not the one expected. Relating the two types of tasks to each other, we found that respondents’ use of the ratings scale did not correlate to their choice of forms, but their overall strength of preference for one form over another did correlate with their choices. Inter-speaker variation does thus go some way to explaining the persistent diversity in this paradigm and arguably may contribute to its maintenance.


Absolute Frequency Judgement Task Czech Population Acceptability Judgement Genitive Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Морфологическая вариация и чувствительность к частотности форм у носителей чешского языка


Настоящая статья рассматривает вариацию между говорящими в двух средах: в родительном и предложном падежах единственного числа ‘твердых неодушевленных’ существительных мужского рода в чешском языке. Материалом исследования стал широкий опрос носителей чешского языка с целью проверки предпочтений и выбора используемых форм двумя тестами: оценками на шкале и выполнением пропусков. Наша гипотеза, заключающаяся в том, что такая вариация существует, была до некоторой степени подтверждена. Большинство биографических данных носителей (возраст, пол, образование) не играло роли в предпочтениях и выборе наших респондентов. Место происхождения, однако, играло небольшую, но существенную роль, хотя иную, чем мы ожидали. Соотнеся эти два типа задач между собой, мы пришли к выводу, что способ использования шкалы предпочтений не соответствовал выбору форм, зато общая тенденция в предпочтениях той или иной формы соответствовала выбору окончаний участниками анкеты. Таким образом, причины устойчивого разнообразия в этой парадигме частично объясняет вариативность в языке носителей, и есть основания полагать, что она является условием сохранения этого разнообразия.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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