Hedging is an essential part of everyday communication. It is a discourse strategy which is used to reduce commitment to the force or truth of an utterance to achieve an appropriate pragmatic effect. Although hedging devices such as Engl. sort of, approximately, I think were for some time considered to contribute little to the communication, they are now generally acknowledged as playing a crucial role in both spoken and written discourse. In recent years hedges have therefore attracted increased attention in Pragmatics and Applied Linguistics, with studies approaching the concept of hedging from various perspectives, such as speech act- and politeness theory, genre-specific investigations, interactional pragmatics, and studies of vague language.
This volume offers a unique collection of articles investigating the often neglected phenomenon of parentheticals, which are commonly seen as expressions interrupting the linear structure of a host utterance, but lacking a structural relation to it. The book provides an up-to-date introduction to the subject, as well as a range of research articles addressing questions including the syntactic link between parenthetical and frame utterance, the relation between syntactic and prosodic form, the usage and interpretation of parentheticals, and many more. It embraces research findings from different European languages (English, German, Dutch, Romance) and covers an array of forms of syntactic interpolations (from one-word parentheticals to clausal) and a range of methodologies, including empirical research, corpus research, and theoretical analyses. The collection underlines the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to a multi-faceted phenomenon such as parentheticals.
The object of this study are the syntactic and functional properties of extraposed vs. non-extraposed clauses in English (e.g. It is surprising that John went to London vs. That John went to London is surprising). The main emphasis is put on the differences of it-extraposition and non-extraposition in their discursive function. Kaltenbock shows that the exchangeability of the two structures as postulated by generative linguistics is to be qualified. Along with syntactic, semantic and stylistic aspects the work discusses mainly functional factors.
From being the occupation of a marginal (and frequently marginalised) group of researchers, the linguistic analysis of machine-readable language corpora has moved to the mainstream of research on the English language. In this process an impressive body of results has accumulated which, over and above the intrinsic descriptive interest it holds for students of the English language, forces a major and systematic re-thinking of foundational issues in linguistic theory. Corpus linguistics and linguistic theory was accordingly chosen as the motto for the twentieth annual gathering of ICAME, the International Computer Archive of Modern/ Medieval English, which was hosted by the University of Freib...
This book brings together a number of empirical studies that use corpora to study discourse patterns in speech and writing. It explores new trends in the area of text and discourse characterized by the alliance between text linguistics and areas such as corpus linguistics, genre analysis, literary stylistics and cross-linguistic studies. The contributions to the volume show how established corpora can be used to ask a number of new questions about the interface between speech and writing, the relation between grammar and discourse, academic discourse, cohesive markers, stylistic devices such as metaphor, deixis and non-verbal communication. The corpora used for text-analysis can also be tailor-made for the study of particular genres such as journal article abstracts, lectures, e-mailing list messages, headlines and titles. A recent development is to bring in contrastive data from bilingual corpora to show what is language-specific in the organization of the text.
This volume brings together a number of articles on the form and function of extra-clausal constituents, a group of linguistic elements which have puzzled linguists by defying analysis in terms of ordinary sentence grammar. Given their high frequency and communicative importance, these elements can, however, no longer be dismissed as a marginal linguistic phenomenon. In recent years this awareness has resulted not only in more systematic treatments of extra-clausal constituents, but has also highlighted the need to account for them in grammatical theory. Based on (mainly English) corpus data, the volume investigates the discourse-pragmatic, semantic, syntactic and phonological features of a range of extra-clausal constituents, including discourse markers, free adjuncts, left dislocands, insubordinate clauses and various kinds of adverbials. The individual chapters adopt a number of different perspectives, investigating the diachronic development of extra-clausal constituents, their multi-functionality and their use in bilingual settings, also addressing the question of how they can be incorporated into existing models of grammar.
The volume argues for the use of multi-methodological strategies in linguistic research. In its lead chapter, in addition, the thorny issue of phenomenological pluralism is explored in detail. From a usage-based perspective, the individual chapters demonstrate methodological pluralism in the investigation of meaning, language acquisition, and discourse. The chapters report on studies in which the use of corpus data is combined with other methodological tools, e.g. experimentally elicited findings, showing how introspection and the analysis of performance data go hand in hand to provide empirical support for researchers’ hypotheses. Some of the authors inspire the discussion in usage-based linguistics, proposing innovative methods of analysis. Others adopt such methods and combine them in original ways. The cutting-edge studies presented in this volume should be of great interest to scholars and students of cognitive and corpus linguistics who want to familiarize themselves with recent methodological advances and their applications in the field.