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<i>What? You and me get together?</i> The place of the Incredulity Response Construction in the lexicon-syntax continuum

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Abstract

This study reviews the form and meaning of the Incredulity Response Construction (IRC), a closed-class form claimed by various cognitive linguists to evince fairly unusual properties justifying its special construction status. I will attempt to demonstrate that both the form and the function of the construction are consistent with traditional characterizations of items located on the syntactic side of the lexicon-syntax continuum. Additionally, I argue that the meaning in question is not exactly that of disbelief, but is instead more general, making it possible to express a wider range of emotional responses. The IRC is not an exceptional construction removed from broadly conceived core syntax. Therefore, at least this construction cannot be used to question the traditional lexicon-syntax division.

References

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