Andreea S. Calude and Gerald Delahunty University of Reading and Colorado State University Inferentials: Fixed or not?”


In this paper, we present arguments for analysing inferentials (which we class as a sub-type of it-clefts) as partially formulaic. By exploring excerpts of spoken (New Zealand) English from the Wellington Corpus of Spoken New Zealand English, we establish that inferentials have formulaic tendencies: they are lexically limited, situationally bound, and relatively frequent (compared to other lexical bundles), and they serve a specific discourse function. However, they are not (perhaps, yet) fully established “fixed formulae” since they are semantically transparent, compositional, and non-fluent.


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