Item Details

The interrelation between evaluative categories and evaluated items

Issue: Vol 8 No. 1 (2012)

Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v8i1.29


On the basis of 1,171 actual IEC (It-Evaluative Construction, i.e., extraposition in traditional grammar) examples from the BNC and other sources, the present paper investigates the interrelationship between the two major semantic elements of the construction, the Evaluator and the Evaluated. It is found that first-order entities never occur in the IEC as the Evaluated; all instances of the Evaluated belong to second or third-order entities. A general correspondence exists between modality and third-order entities and between attitude and second-order entities. That is, all the exponents of modality are directed to third-order entities and an overwhelming majority of attitudinal exponents is oriented to second-order entities, and vice versa. (The 55 exceptions are explainable in terms of relevance of the entity to the text.) Thus, the distribution of the evaluative categories and the evaluated entities and the correlation between them are semantically motivated.

Author: Yong Wang, Jie Xu

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