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Whatever the specific circumstances, …: a construction grammar perspective of wh-ever clauses in English


Oppliger, Rahel (2018). Whatever the specific circumstances, …: a construction grammar perspective of wh-ever clauses in English. In: Seoane, Elena; Acuña-Fariña, Carlos; Palacios-Martínez, Ignacio. Subordination in English: Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives. Berlin: De Gruyter, 263-284.

Abstract

This chapter describes and analyzes a subtype of concessive conditional clauses, wh-ever clauses, within the framework of Construction Grammar. Wh-ever clauses are discussed as constructions with multiple variable slots: a wh-ever connective lexeme, an adjective or noun phrase, and a variable verb slot. The main focus of the analysis is on the variation of the verb form: finite verb forms, deontic modals, and verb ellipses occur with varying frequency depending on the wh-ever connective. In particular, the potential for structural reduction in the use of the verbless form is discussed in the context of Construction Grammar. The examination of wh-ever clauses shows that in addition to these structural characteristics of the verb phrase, the pragmatic scope of wh-ever clauses can be observed to extend to the discourse level. It is argued that wh-ever clause constructions can be described at different levels of specificity within a constructional hierarchy: frequency analyses suggest constructions both at a schematic level - with multiple variable slots - and at a more specific level - with fixed lexical elements.

Abstract

This chapter describes and analyzes a subtype of concessive conditional clauses, wh-ever clauses, within the framework of Construction Grammar. Wh-ever clauses are discussed as constructions with multiple variable slots: a wh-ever connective lexeme, an adjective or noun phrase, and a variable verb slot. The main focus of the analysis is on the variation of the verb form: finite verb forms, deontic modals, and verb ellipses occur with varying frequency depending on the wh-ever connective. In particular, the potential for structural reduction in the use of the verbless form is discussed in the context of Construction Grammar. The examination of wh-ever clauses shows that in addition to these structural characteristics of the verb phrase, the pragmatic scope of wh-ever clauses can be observed to extend to the discourse level. It is argued that wh-ever clause constructions can be described at different levels of specificity within a constructional hierarchy: frequency analyses suggest constructions both at a schematic level - with multiple variable slots - and at a more specific level - with fixed lexical elements.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:9 July 2018
Deposited On:19 Mar 2019 15:49
Last Modified:19 Mar 2019 15:49
Publisher:De Gruyter
Series Name:Topics in English Linguistics
Number:101
ISSN:1434-3452
ISBN:978-3-11-058357-1
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110583571-012
Related URLs:https://www.degruyter.com/viewbooktoc/product/498514?rskey=a1PyHG (Publisher)

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