As classic examples of formal syntactic analysis,it-extraposition and
non-extraposition have received considerable attention in the
transformational literature. This book offers a different perspective.
While including a detailed formal analysis which provides extensive
quantitative data, its main concern is that of a functional description of
the extraposition paradigm. Based on a large-scale corpus of
naturally-occurring instances of it-extraposition and non-extraposition,
Kaltenböck’s study provides an in-depth analysis of their respective
communicative functions in spoken and written texts. In doing so it takes a
close look at the question of choice within this syntactic paradigm: Why
does a speaker or writer choose one constructional variant rather than the
other? What are the factors that influence this choice? Taking into account
the use and distribution of (non-)extraposition in a wide range of
different text types, the study identifies a number of specific
communicative properties for each variant, amply illustrated with examples
from the corpus.