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A snapshot of the emerging because-X construction

Bailey, Laura R. and Cook, Eleanor and Kim, Christina S. (2023) A snapshot of the emerging because-X construction. In: Sociosyntax. Topics in English Linguistics . De Gruyter. (Submitted) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:105654)

Language: English

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This article gives a description of the emerging construction known as because-X (We have to collect data because science). Using a Twitter corpus and an acceptability rating study with a large number of participants, we char- acterise the element X as being sensitive to syntactic category (interjections and bare nouns are favoured, while prepositional phrases and verbs are rarely permitted) and as being syntactically inflexible, unlike the clause or phrasal complement of because-clause or because-of. Furthermore, we show that there are two subtypes of because-X, one with a deictic function indicating a state of affairs, and one with an expressive function conveying an emotional state. Both rely heavily on the addressee’s contextual knowledge or salient properties of X, leading to a high degree of flexibility of the interpretation of X and re- stricted contexts of use in terms of audience (in-groups) and register (informal, especially online communities).

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: because; internet language use; register variation; language change
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English philology and language
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Christina Kim
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2024 12:25 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 18:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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