Uncovering Variation in Word Englishes: Finite vs Non-finite Complementation of remember with Prospective Meaning





REMEMBER, Clausal complementation, (non-)finiteness, World-Englishes, GloWbE, Complexity Principle


Remember is a polysemous verb that can govern finite and non-finite complement clauses (CCs). This paper explores the variability between finite and non-finite CCs that follow remember with the prospective meaning ‘remember to do’ (as in Remember to do your homework), looking at three Asian World Englishes – Indian English, Sri Lankan English and Bangladeshi English – and British English, as represented in the Corpus of Global Web-based English (GloWbE). The prospective use of remember is traditionally classified as allowing to-infinitival CCs as the only complementation option (Cambridge Dictionary Online, “remember”; FrameNet; Oxford Dictionaries Online, “remember”; Huddleston and Pullum et al. 2002, 1242; Mair 2006, 215). However, large databases such as GloWbE reveal the existence of finite CCs with this meaning that depend on remember. The analysis of these CCs in competition, in terms of both distribution and a series of language-internal and external variables, confirms that those which increase complexity (e.g. longer CCs in number of words) favour the choice of finite CCs, in line with the Complexity Principle.


PID2020-117030GB-I00, funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033.


Download data is not yet available.


ANNAMALI, Elay and Sanford B. Steever. 1998. "Modern Tamil." In Steever 1998, 75-99.

ARNOLD, Jennifer, Renee Blake, Brad Davidson, Scott Schwenter and Julie Solomonm, eds. 1996. Sociolinguistic Variation: Data, Theory and Analysis. Selected Papers from NWAV 2 at Stanford. Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.

BIEWER, Carolin. 2015. South Pacific Englishes: A Sociolinguistic and Morphosyntactic Profile of Fiji English, Samoan English and Cook Islands English. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g52

Cambridge Dictionary Online. S.v. "remember." https://dictionary.cambridge.org/es/diccionario/ingles/remember [Accessed online on June 27, 2022].

CARDONA, George and Dhanesh Jain, eds. 2007. The Indo-Aryan Languages. New York: Routledge.

CHANDRALAL, Dileep. 2010. Sinhala. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/loall.15

CUYCKENS, Hubert, Frauke D'hoedt and Benedikt Szmrecsanyi. 2014. "Variability in Verb Complementation in Late Modern English: Finite vs. Non-finite Patterns." In Hundt 2014, 182-203. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139507226.014

Dalton-Puffer, Christiane, Dieter Kastovsky, Nikolaus Ritt and Herbert Schendler, eds. 2006. Syntax, Style and Grammatical Norms: English from 1500-2000. Bern: Peter Lang. https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0351-0272-7

DASGUPTA, Probal. 2007. "Bangla." In Cardona and Jain 2007, 351-390.

DAVIES, Mark. 2013. Corpus of Global Web-Based English: 1.9 Billion Words from Speakers in 20 Countries (GloWbE). http://corpus.byu.edu/glowbe. [Accessed online on June 27, 2022].

DE SMET, Hendrik. 2013. Spreading Patterns: Diffusional Change in the English System of Complementation. Oxford: Oxford UP. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812752.001.0001

EBERHARD, David M., Gary F. Simons and Charles D. Fennig, eds. 2019. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. http://www.ethnologue.com. [Accessed online on June 27, 2022].

FANEGO, Teresa. 1996. "On the Historical Development of English Retrospective Verbs." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 97: 71-79.

FERNÁNDEZ-SAN MIGUEL, María and Claus-Peter Neuman, eds. 2018. Taking Stock to Look Ahead: Celebrating Forty Years of English Studies in Spain. Zaragoza: Prensa Universitaria de la Universidad de Zaragoza. https://doi.org/10.26754/uz.978-84-16723-51-5

FIELD, Andy P. 2009. Discovering Statistics Using SPSS: (and Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll). 3rd ed. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

FRAMENEt. "The Berkeley FrameNet Project." https://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/fndrupal/ [Accessed online on June 27, 2022].

GAIR, James W. 2007. "Sinhala." In Cardona and Jain 2007, 766-817.

GARCÍA-CASTRO, Laura. 2018. "Variation in Verbal Complementation Patterns in Nativised Varieties of English: The Case of REMEMBER in Indian English." In Fernández-San Miguel and Neuman 2018, 207-213.

GARCÍA-CASTRO, Laura. 2020. "Variability in Verbal Complementation in Postcolonial Englishes: Finite versus Non-finite Clauses Governed by REMEMBER." World Englishes 39: 411-426. https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12481

HASSELGREN, Angela. 1994. "Lexical Teddy Bears and Advanced Learners: A Study into the Ways Norwegian Students Cope with English Vocabulary." International Journal of Applied Linguistics 4: 237-58. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-4192.1994.tb00065.x

HUDDLESTON, Rodney and Geoffrey K. Pullum. 2002. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316423530

HUNDT, Marianne. 2014. Late Modern English Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139507226

KACHRU, Braj B. 1982. The other tongue: English across cultures. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

KACHRU, Yamuna. 2006. Hindi. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/loall.12

KRISHNAMURTI, Bhadriraju. 1998. "Telugu." In Steever 1998, 202-240. https://doi.org/10.1006/viro.1997.8908

KORTMANN, Bernd and Benedikt Szmrecsanyi, eds. 2012. ,Linguistic Complexity: Second Language Acquisition, Indigenization, Contact. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110229226

KYTÖ, Merja, Mats Rydén and Erik Smitterberg, eds. 2006. Nineteenth-century English: Stability and Change. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486944

LOUREIRO-PORTO, Lucía. 2017. "ICE vs GloWbE: Big Data and Corpus Compilation." World Englishes 36: 448-470. https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12281

MAIR, Christian. 2006. "Nonfinite Complement Clauses in the Nineteenth Century: The Case of remember." In Kytö, Rydén and Smitterberg 2006, 215-228. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486944.009

Oxford Dictionaries Online. S.v. "remember." https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/remember [Accessed online June 27, 2018]

ROHDENBURG, Günter. 1996. "Cognitive Complexity and Increased Grammatical Explicitness in English." Cognitive Linguistics 7: 149-182. https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.1996.7.2.149

ROHDENBURG, Günter. 2006. "The Role of Functional Constraints in the Evolution of the English Complementation System." In Dalton-Puffer, Kastovsky, Ritt and Schendler 2006, 143-166.

SCHNEIDER, Edgar W. 2013. "English as a Contact Language: The "New Englishes"." In Schreier and Hundt 2013, 131-148. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511740060.008

SCHNEIDER, Edgar W. 2007. Postcolonial English: Varieties Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618901

SCHREIER, Daniel and Marianne Hundt, eds. 2013. English as a Contact Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511740060

STEEVER, Sanford B., ed. 1998. The Dravidian Languages. London and New York: Routledge.

STEGER, Maria and Edgar W. Schneider. 2012. "Complexity as a Function of Iconicity: The Case of Complement Constructions in New Englishes." In Kortmann and Szmrecsanyi 2012, 156-191. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110229226.156

THOMASON, Sarah G. 2001. Language Contact: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. https://doi.org/10.1016/B0-08-043076-7/03032-1

THOMPSON, Hanne-Ruth. 2012. Bengali. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

VISSER, Federicus Theodorus. 1963-1973. An Historical Syntax of the English Language. 4 parts. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

WALD, Benji. 1996. "Substratal Effects on the Evolution of Modals in East Los Angeles English." In Arnold, Blake, Davidson, Schwenter and Solomon 1996, 513-530.

WILLIAMS, Jessica. 1987. "Non-native Varieties of English: A Special Case of Language Acquisition." English World-Wide 8: 161-199. https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.8.2.02wil



Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Suárez Gómez, Cristina, and Raquel P. Romasanta. 2023. “Uncovering Variation in Word Englishes: Finite Vs Non-Finite Complementation of Remember With Prospective Meaning”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 39 (July):35-54. https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2023.39.02.