Commas and connective adverbs

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This chapter reports the findings of a corpus-based study of the use of three connective adverbs, <i>however</i>, <i>therefore</i> and <i>thus</i>, to introduce a second main clause within a single orthographic sentence (&#8220;run-on sentences&#8221;). It is established that these three items still display in this usage all the criterial syntactic properties of connective adverbs. This usage is more frequent in current written English from Australian and New Zealand English than in British and American English, and much more frequent in unedited writing. The phenomenon is essentially a change in the use of punctuation devices, demonstrating a tendency to treat as a single (orthographic) sentence two clauses that form a closely linked logical sequence.


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