It-extraposition an non-extraposition in English: A study of syntax in spoken and written texts
Braumüller ISBN 3-7003-1461-2
As classic examples of formal syntactic analysis, it-extraposition and non-extraposition have received considerable attention in the generative literature. The present study offers a different perspective. While including a detailed formal analysis which provides extensive quantitative data on syntactic subtypes and their preferred patterns of combination, its main concern is that of a functional description of the extraposition paradigm.
Based on a large-scale corpus of naturally-occurring instances of it-extraposition and non-extrapositon, the study provides an in-depth analysis of their respective communicative functions in both spoken and written texts. In doing so it takes a close look at the question of choice within this syntactic paradigm: Why does a speaker or writer choose one constructional variant rather than the other? What are the factors that influence the choice? Taking into account the use and distribution of (non)-extraposition in a wide range of different text types, the study identifies a number of specific communicative properties for each variant, amply illustrated with examples from the corpus.
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