CORPORA AND CONVERSATION:
ASPECTS OF PRAGMATIC ANNOTATION IN SPOKEN CORPORA

March 22 Bas Aarts, Gerry Nelson and Sean Wallis (Survey of English Usage, University College London)
Annotation Systems in ICE-GB: Parentheticals

Abstract
In this paper we start with a overview of the annotation system currently used in the recently released British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB). We will demonstrate the corpus and its search facilities 'live'.

We will then narrow the focus to discuss parenthetical elements in written and spoken English. Parentheticals are of interest because they are argued by some scholars to be purely utterance phenomena, and thus outside the scope of grammar altogether (Haegeman 1988, Fabb 1990, Burton-Roberts 1999), while others have argued the opposite case, namely that they are firmly to be dealt with within grammar (Emonds 1979, McCawley 1982).

We will look at three main types:

  1. parentheticals which occur chiefly in the spoken data, in reformulations (a), and back-channels (b):
    1. Uhm so [what are the factors that var] what kind of variation are we looking at now then (S1B-004 #123)
    2. But a different role uh because [when we get to the time of uh Ezra] as with the more classical Wellhausen uh hypothesis [when we get to the time of Ezra] we have the further narrowing of the office of priest (S1B-001 #9)
  2. interpolated elements, usually clauses:
  3. nonrestrictive relative clauses:

We will demonstrate how ICE-GB may be used to examine parentheticals, as well as suggest ways in which the annotation and the software might be improved to support this type of research.

References
Burton-Roberts, NoŽl (1999) Language, linear precedence and parentheticals. In: Collins and Lee (eds.). The clause in English: in honour of Rodney Huddleston. Studies in Language Companion Series. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 33-52.

Emonds, Joseph (1979) Appositive relatives have no properties. Linguistic Inquiry 10. 211-243.

Fabb, Nigel (1990) The difference between English restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses. Journal of Linguistics 26. 57-78.

Haegeman, Liliane (1988) Parenthetical adverbials: the radical orphanage approach. In: S. Chiba (ed.). Aspects of modern linguistics.Tokyo: Kaitakushi.232-254.

McCawley, James (1982) Parentheticals and discontinuous constituent structure. Linguistic Inquiry 13. 91-106.


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