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Emotion and desire in independent complement clauses

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Abstract

We advocate the use of theoretical tools from both cognitive linguistics and contemporary pragmatics to analyze complement clause constructions that are syntactically dependent but independent in terms of their illocutionary force, as exemplified in English by <i>That it should have come to this!</i> Such apparent mismatches between syntactic form and illocutionary function raise important questions about how much of meaning is compositional and how much is inferential, i.e. to be derived through metaphoric, metonymic and/or pragmatic elaboration. The focus of this study is on German complement clauses headed by the complementizer <i>dass</i>, but data from other languages are also adduced, attesting to the fact that this speech act construction is not an isolated and quirky phenomenon restricted to one language.

References

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