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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Concerning American parenthetical expressions in syntax
by Grubb, Teresa R., Ph.D., Tulane University, 2016, 409; 10128344
Abstract (Summary)

Concerning American Parenthetical Expressions in Syntax offers an introductory study of the oddity of parenthetical expressions (or PEs) across American dialects of English from a data-driven, syntactic point of view. CAPES presents the results from over 42,000 speaker judgments of audio files containing spoken utterances with parentheticals. These utterances test the possible interpolation points of four pragmatically defined categories of parentheticals—Vocatives, Mitigatory PEs, Evidential PEs, and Expletives – as well as some of the possibilities for multiple PEs appearing in the same utterance. These possible interpolation points have been tested in coordination with complex structures and movement operations. Analysis of these data has shown that there are significant differences in patterns of grammatical interpolation points for each of these categories. Despite the clear distinctions present in these categories’ interpolation profiles, some positions remain more likely than others to grammatically allow PEs. These positions are, in decreasing order of likelihood, the left edge, the right edge, following the first (i.e. highest) subject, and preceding an embedded CP. The data have also shown sensitivity to movement operations which suggest that they attach at the surface level of syntactic development. Expletives have been proven to stand alone in many respects, being the least likely of all the studied categories to be grammatically allowed in an utterance-internal position. Additionally, though the data show that up to four PEs may be stacked at the left edge, this is only possible when the Expletive is the leftmost PE.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Maxwell, Judith M.
Commitee: Orie, Olanike O., Zender, Marc
School: Tulane University
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 77/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Expletive, Parenthetical, Parenthetical expression, Parentheticals, Syntax, Vocative
Publication Number: 10128344
ISBN: 978-1-339-86356-6
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