Use of 'what it is is'
|Submitter Email:||click here to access email|
I?m interested in the use of ?what it is is? (and variations) as a fixed
expression used as a discourse marker/floor-holding device, as in the
(1) Q: Tell me about the women's group that you've started.
A: I just started a group on campus when I got back from Italy. Right
now it's called the Women's Group. Basically what it is, is I was tired of
the things that happen to women being shushed.
(2) S: ... isn't the Bush policy a continuation of the Clinton
administration's policy vis- a-vis Iraq?
B: No, what it is is it's jacking it up on steroids and taking us into
a war that I think we can win without putting our troops in harm's way.
I?m also hearing single ?is? versions (in the south-east of England) such
(3) What it is, I changed my migraine medication.
It seems to me there must be some type of mutual influence/sanctioning
between these (1-3) and ?double copula? constructions (and possibly their
single ?is? counterparts) ?The thing/problem is (is)? etc. which have been
discussed before on this list.
I?m particularly interested to know if the use in examples such as in (1-3)
occur in other varieties of English, particular new Englishes, and to know
of any studies on this particular use.
Thanks; I will post a summary
Dr Emma Pavey
Sums main page