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Journal Articles Constructions and Frames Year : 2021

Not-fragments and negative expansion

Bert Cappelle


Abstract This paper focuses on emphatic sentence fragments of the type Not in a million years! . While such fragments can be partially accounted for by a known type of ellipsis, namely ‘stripping’, it is argued here that this type is best treated as a construction in its own right, with formal, semantic and pragmatic properties specific to it. One useful concept is what could be called ‘negative expansion’. This is a discourse-level construction whereby an already negative clause is followed by one or more negative clause fragments, whose negation is a repetition, rather than cancellation, of the negation in the preceding clause, as in It will never happen. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
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hal-03637459 , version 1 (21-02-2023)



Bert Cappelle. Not-fragments and negative expansion. Constructions and Frames, 2021, 13 (1), pp.55-81. ⟨10.1075/cf.00047.cap⟩. ⟨hal-03637459⟩
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