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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: The English general extender
Author: Maryann Overstreet
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Biber et al., 1999), a new category is identified in the grammar of the English phrase. In conversational data, the most frequent forms cited as examples of this category are or something, and everything, and things and and stuff, which are described as ‘coordination tags’ by Biber et al. (1999: 115–16). This label has not been widely adopted, but the linguistic category it describes has clearly become established as part of modern English. The term ‘general extender’ (Overstreet, 1999) is now commonly used to refer to this category: ‘“general” because they are nonspecific and “extender” because they extend otherwise complete utterances’ (1999: 3). There are two subcategories: adjunctive general extenders, beginning with and, and disjunctive general extenders, beginning with or. In casual conversation, general extenders are typically phrase- or clause-final, consisting of and/or plus a vague noun (stuff/things) or a pronoun (something/everything), with an optional comparative phrase (like that/this). In everyday spoken British English, the phrase and (all) that is also extremely common. In written and formal spoken English, forms with quite different structures, such as et cetera, and so on, and so forth, and or so are more typically used to fulfill related functions. All of these forms are grammatically optional and fall within the more general category of pragmatic markers, along with you know, I mean, like and sort of, ‘expressions which may have little obvious propositional meaning but which oil the wheels of conversational social interaction’ (Beeching, 2016: 1).

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This article appears IN English Today Vol. 36, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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