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A new approach to transitive expletives: evidence from Belfast English

Henry, Alison and Cottell, Siobhan (2007) A new approach to transitive expletives: evidence from Belfast English. English Language and Linguistics, 11 (2). pp. 279-299. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1017/S1360674307002262


This article discusses the existence of transitive expletives in a variety of English. BelfastEnglish has none of the features previously proposed as licensing transitive expletives,but nevertheless allows these, calling into question previous analyses of the licensing ofthis structure. This article considers the properties of transitive expletives in this variety,showing that they are restricted to sentences where the associate is quantified, and that theassociate can appear in a range of positions, similar but not identical to those availableto ‘floated’ quantifiers. It is argued that Belfast English has a higher merge position forthe expletive than does Standard English, and that the general availability in Englishof quantifier positions between T and vP – perhaps because auxiliaries in English headphases, and phases can be closed by a quantification – means that, even though BelfastEnglish is not a Verb Second language, a position is available for both the expletive andthe associate.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Linguistics
ID Code:15765
Deposited By: Professor Alison Henry
Deposited On:12 Apr 2011 07:28
Last Modified:09 May 2016 11:04

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