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LINGUIST List 19.1697

Tue May 27 2008

Qs: Looking for Corpus Study on Pre-nominal Functions

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        1.    Stephen James Coffey, Looking for Corpus Study on Pre-nominal Functions

Message 1: Looking for Corpus Study on Pre-nominal Functions
Date: 27-May-2008
From: Stephen James Coffey <coffeycli.unipi.it>
Subject: Looking for Corpus Study on Pre-nominal Functions
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I am carrying out some corpus-based research into the English frame ''a __
of a __'' (what types of lexical element typically fill the slots; what are
the typical relationships between the first part of the expression and the

A very frequent first part of the frame is ''a bit of a'', which is
described in corpus-based dictionaries in different ways (e.g. 'a slight
but not serious amount or type of something', 'You can use ''a bit of'' to
make a statement less forceful', 'used to show that the way you describe
something is only true to a limited degree', 'used when talking about
unpleasant or negative things or ideas, to mean ''rather a …'' '.

Does anyone know of any text- or corpus-based studies which have been
carried out on the communicative functions of 'a bit of a'?

Steve Coffey,
University of Pisa

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

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