Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: The Comment Clause in English
Subtitle: Syntactic Origins and Pragmatic Development
Written By: Laurel J. Brinton

Although English comment clauses such as 'I think' and 'you know' have been
widely studied, this book constitutes the first full-length diachronic
treatment, focusing on comment clauses formed with common verbs of
perception and cognition in a variety of syntactic forms. It understands
comment clauses as causal pragmatic markers that undergo
grammaticalisation, and acquire pragmatic and politeness functions and
subjective and intersubjective meanings. To date, the prevailing view of
their syntactic development, which is extrapolated from synchronic studies,
is that they originate in matrix clauses which become syntactically
indeterminate and are reanalysed as parenthetical. In this corpus-based
study, Laurel J. Brinton shows that the historical data do not bear out
this view, and proposes a more varied and complex conception of the
development of comment clauses. Researchers and students of the English
language and historical linguistics will certainly consider Brinton’s
findings to be of great interest.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521886732
ISBN-13: 9780521886734
Pages: 298
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00