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Chapter Summary

Exclamatives and exclamations are linguistic constructions which allow us to express joy, surprise, or other emotions about a given observation. This chapter takes a look at the interpretation of exclamatives in direct and indirect discourse. Exclamatives (in English and German) have their own specific syntax, they comment on gradable properties and high degrees, and they convey expressive content. The chapter reviews combinations of exclamatives and tenses in made-up examples before turning to real uses of exclamatives in literary texts. When a speaker says "How tall Sue is", he/she experiences Sue's extraordinary size and also comments on it. The time of utterance and the time at which Sue exhibits tallness is the same. The same coincidence of utterance time and time of measurement can be observed when a present tense exclamative comments on an event. The chapter extends the analysis in terms of tensed degrees to the class of exceptional exclamatives.

Keywords: direct discourse; exclamatives; gradable properties; indirect discourse; literary texts; tenses; utterance time



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