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A nightmare of a trip, a gem of a hotel: The study of an evaluative and descriptive frame

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Chapter Summary

This paper describes a lexico-grammatical frame which may be exemplified by the phrase a nightmare of a trip. The internal semantics are a defining feature of the frame: the second noun is likened in some way to the first noun (the ‘trip’ was a ‘nightmare’). By examining many sets of concordance lines generated from the British National Corpus, a database was created containing 380 examples of the frame. The present article describes these phrases from a number of points of view: their internal lexico-semantic structure, their communicative functions, their place within syntactic structure, and their relation to text type.



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