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Demonstrative modification of proper nouns: a corpus-based study


This paper focuses on the use of demonstrative ten in modification of proper nouns, in examples such as ty Liblice or ta Praha. This is a topic that has eluded systematic study in the past, due to the difficulty of obtaining a sufficient sample size for a phenomenon that occurs sporadically and primarily in spoken speech. Occasional examples can be found in literary stylizations of dialogue, but generally at wide intervals that prevent efficient searches. In addition, literary stylizations do not necessarily reflect natural spoken language (Gammelgaard 1997, Bermel 2000, and others). The Czech National Corpus provides a remedy to these issues, with its three purely oral corpora (Oral2006, PMK and BMK) that represent both a variety of spoken situation types, and speakers with a variety of demographical features (age, level of education, region of residence). Oral2006 alone contains over 2000 examples of ten + proper noun (in various declensional and gendered forms), while PMK and BMK contribute approximately a thousand.1 In this study I address two main issues: 1) the basic functions of demonstrative modified proper nouns, and 2) the combinatorial possibilities of demonstrative modified proper nouns with other spoken features.

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