Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Exclamatives convey that something is surprising or noteworthy (Zanuttini and Portner 2003:47). Exclamatives generally receive a degree interpretation: they involve the placement of an entity’s property on the extreme degree on a scale, according to some contextually determined value (Rett 2008).

Exclamativity can be expressed in different forms, e.g., in English using a declarative sentence with a high intonation like You have a nice bike!, a clause (truncated or not) with a wh-element like What a nice bike (you have)!, a simple noun such as The train!, or a simple particle Wow!.

The …

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Linda BADAN, “Exclamatives”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000149>
First published online: 2015

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