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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


Title: On the Grammar of Optative Constructions
Written By: Patrick Georg Grosz
Series Title: Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 193

This monograph is one of the first theoretical studies of optatives. Optative constructions express desire without an overt lexical item that means ‘desire’. The author specifically investigates optatives with the syntax of embedded clauses that contain prototypical particles such as ‘only’. He rejects the view that optativity arises compositionally from the standard semantics of embedded clauses and prototypical particles. The following system is proposed: Desirability is due to a generalized scalar exclamation operator EX. Furthermore, clausal properties such as factivity/counterfactuality are encoded in a Mood head, which co-determines morphological mood and complementizer choice. Finally, the prototypical particles that optatives contain are truth-conditionally vacuous presupposition triggers. As a result, these meaning components do not interact directly, but their meanings converge, with the consequence that they prototypically co-occur. This monograph is of interest for formal semanticists, syntacticians, pragmaticists and morphologists, and especially relevant for research on mood and particle semantics.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9789027255761
Prices: U.S. $ 158.00
U.K. £ 105.00
Europe EURO 111.30
Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9789027273451
Prices: ---- 158.00
---- 88.00
---- 105.00