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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 19, 2010

The metarepresentational use of main clause phenomena in embedded clauses

  • Thorstein Fretheim
From the journal


In Norwegian complex sentences with a main clause and an embedded complement clause, linguistic main clause features, whether syntactic or intonational, must converge, that is, their syntactic domain must be the same string for all, either the total sentence structure for all co-occurring main clause features or just the complement clause for all such features. Violation of this convergence constraint leads to ungrammaticality. This article addresses specifically what happens in speech acts where the proposition expressed by the speaker is an interpretation, often referred to as a metarepresentation, of someone else's thought rather than the speaker's explicated thought, where the encoded semantic representation that forms the linguistic basis for inferential derivation of the metarepresented thought is located in the part of the utterance that contains the convergent linguistic main clause phenomena, and where the rest of the utterance is a comment on that thought.

Dept. of Language and Communication Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway. E-mail:

Received: 2007-08-28
Revised: 2008-04-08
Published Online: 2010-03-19
Published in Print: 2010-March

© 2010 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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