Vol. 33 No. 1 (2023): Issue 1/2023

Exclamative constructions: An overview

Hussein Al-Bataineh
Arab Open University

Published 05/16/2023


  • exclamation,
  • factivity,
  • scalar implicature,
  • evaluation,
  • clause type,
  • referentiality
  • ...More

How to Cite

Al-Bataineh, H. (2023). Exclamative constructions: An overview. L’Analisi Linguistica E Letteraria, 33(1). Retrieved from https://www.analisilinguisticaeletteraria.eu/index.php/ojs/article/view/535


This overview paper examines exclamative constructions (Excls) cross-linguistically. It provides a comprehensive overview of all the debatable issues regarding the essential characteristics of Excls, their defining features and syntactic analyses. The paper shows that the reason behind the debate in the literature is related to the fact that Excls have a unique syntax that takes some, but not all, properties one expects to find in clauses. Moreover, the paper shows that the defining properties of Excls _ factivity, scalar implicature, and question/answer pairs_ are controversial and cross-linguistically invalid because Excls are not inherently factive, they are not always scalar, and wh-Excls are different from clause types syntactically, semantically, and pragmatically. Apart from the aforementioned controversial properties, the two defining features of Excls, viz., evaluation and referentiality, seem more feasible and less controversial. Regarding syntactic analyses of Excls, the paper shows that there is no consensus in the literature on the position targeted by the moved wh-phrase and the number of features and phrases at the left periphery of Excls. Each study claims several projections in the CP domain which are different from those in other studies in their number, categories, functional heads, and features. Moreover, this paper shows that the same inconsistency and disagreement exists in studies on Arabic Excls as well.


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