The exclamative sentence type in English

In book: Conceptual structure, discourse and language, Publisher: CSLI, Editors: Adele E. Goldberg, pp.375-389
1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent research provides strong evidence that the syntacticization of recurrent multi-actional and interactional patterns for accomplishing social actions is quite a general phenomenon. Drawing on a body of audio and video recordings, we consider three pervasive conversational patterns whereby English speakers carry out the assessing of an event or situation, and the interactional contingencies which give rise to these patterns. We propose that one of these patterns (known as `extraposition') can be revealingly understood as having syntacticized to a grammatical and prosodically unified construction as an amalgamation of the other two patterns, which are interactional routines. We suggest that the `extraposition' construction provides a particularly elegant instance of how grammar emerges from the recurrent interactional practices which make up the fabric of our daily lives.
    Discourse Studies - DISCOURSE STUD. 01/2008; 10(4):443-467.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: (2) a. (My,) How orange Sue's shoes were! b. (Oh,) The shoes Sue wore! c. (Boy,) Did Sue wear orange shoes! This distinction is based on the empirical observation that the latter are subject to two semantic restrictions not applicable to the former. The proposal is this: for the utterance of an exclamation to be expressively correct, its content must be salient, and the speaker must find this content surprising. For the utterance of an exclamative to be expressively correct, its content must additionally be about a degree, and that degree must exceed a contextually relevant standard. I account for this difference by proposing that proposition exclamations and exclamatives are expressed with two different illocutionary force operators. These operators have different domains (one is a function from propositions, the other from degree properties) but the same value (an expression of surprise). This view of exclamatives helps characterize the syntactic constructions used to express exclamatives (which on first glance do not appear to form a nat- ural class). Exclamatives are additionally interesting because, as Milner (1978) and Gerard (1980) observe, they are different from any other expression because they can receive an extreme degree interpretation in the absence of overt degree mor- phology. The situation is even more compelling than this: as I argue, exclamatives must receive an 'extreme degree' interpretation. Although the discussion here bears quite a bit on what it means for an exclamative to force an 'extreme degree' reading, in the end I will have little to say about how this is so.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article argues that subject auxiliary inversion in English (SAI) provides an example of a syntactic generalization that is strongly motivated by a family of closely related functions. Recognition of the functional properties of each subconstruction associated with SAI allows us to predict many seemingly arbi- trary properties of SAI: e.g., its (partial) restriction to appear in main clauses, the fact that the inversion only involves the first auxiliary, and the fact that its use in comparatives is more limited. The dominant feature of SAI, being non- positive,is also arguedto motivate the syntacticform of SAI. It is suggestedthat attention to the rich data inherent in language and to findings in categorization research simultaneously serves to reinforce and benefit our understanding of both language and categorization more generally.
    Linguistic Review - LINGUIST REV. 01/2005; 22:411-428.