Deconstructing Exclamations

Elena Castroviejo Miró

Abstract

While it is still not widely accepted that exclamatives are a clause type, exclamations are intuitively considered a speech act comparable to assertions and questions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the notion of exclamation. In particular, I compare the pragmatic properties of whexclamatives with the discourse distribution of other so-called exclamations and argue that they do not have a uniform way to update the Common Ground; by using a series of tests, I show that the sole thing they have in common is an emphatic intonation and a non-neutral attitude on the part of the speaker.

Keywords

exclamations, exclamative sentences, speech acts, Common Ground

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Copyright (c) 2008 Elena Castroviejo Miró