Resumptive constructions: a spoken-language feature in chat room texts
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This paper describes resumptive constructions involving (demonstrative) pronouns. Its novelty is that it summarizes the highly divergent literature on resumptive pronouns (in terms of historical linguistics, traditional grammar, functional grammar, generative grammar and structuralist approaches). However, the paper is not merely theoretical or recapitulative: it also includes a corpus-based study involving chat room texts, a genre occupying the border area between spoken and written language use. This is the first time resumptive pronouns are investigated in a corpus-based manner. Such pronouns make up 0.34% of our text material consisting of more than 21,000 words. The paper is concluded by a discussion of the various functions of resumptive pronouns as occurring in this corpus. Both the previous literature reviewed here and our own analyses have confirmed the assumption that the use of resumptive pronouns is primarily a feature of spoken language.
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