Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The superlative in spoken English

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The paper deals with the use of the superlative degree in spoken British English on the basis of the demographic part of the British National Corpus. The aspects investigated include the distribution of the morphological types (inflectional vs. periphrastic), the types of adjectives used in this construction and the syntax of the superlative (attributive, predicative and nominal use; determiner usage). Special attention is being paid to the semantics (relative, absolute, intensifying meanings) and the corresponding functions of the superlative, where it is noticeable that absolute and intensifying readings are much more common than expectable from the extant literature. Together with the usage of generalising modification structures, this points to the conclusion that the superlative may be less a means of factual comparison than rather a means for (often vague) evaluation and the expression of emotion.



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Corpus Linguistics 25 Years on — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation