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May I Quote You on That?

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