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|Title:||Exclamative Clauses: A Corpus-based Account|
|Abstract:||This paper aims to complement the accounts of exclamative clauses presented in both the large reference grammars of English (e.g. Quirk et al. 1985; Biber et al. 1999; Huddleston and Pullum 2002), and in the more theoretically-oriented literature (e.g. Elliott 1974; Michaelis and Lambrecht 1996; and Zanuttini and Portner 2003).by providing a comprehensive description of their structural and semantic properties. Findings are reported from an empirical study of exclamative clauses in English, based on a 9,600,000-word collection of written and spoken corpora which yielded 2061 tokens. Although writers sometimes accept sentences of the type "Is syntax easy!, They were so rude!, The things he eats! ", and "It's amazing how calm he is!" as exclamatives, it will be argued that the class must be restricted to constructions with an initial exclamative phrase containing "what" (as modifier) or "how" (as modifier or adjunct), insofar as it is only in these that the illocutionary force of exclamatory statement has been grammaticalised. A number of tendencies are revealed by the corpus-interrogation, including: the occurrence of ambiguity resulting from the structural similarity between exclamative and interrogative clauses, especially in the case of subordinate exclamatives; the reduction of exclamative clauses - particularly "what"-exclamatives - to just the exclamative phrase; and, the relative favouring of how-exclamatives in formal, written discourse.|
|Appears in Collections:||ALS 2004|
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