Complement and parenthetical constructions: Theory and description

Lieven Vandelanotte (Editor), An Van linden (Editor), Lieselotte Brems (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


This special issue brings together the papers presented at the successful 2019 workshop “The syntagmatic properties of complementation patterns: Accommodating lexical and grammatical uses of CTP-clauses” ( It focuses on complement-taking predicate clauses (CTP-clauses) occurring in complement constructions that allow for functional variation – i.e. showing both complementizing/lexical uses and modifying/grammatical uses (cf. Boye & Harder 2007) – as well as in parenthetical constructions (e.g. It is a good idea, I think). While traditionally complement clauses have been analysed as constituents of the main clause headed by the CTP (e.g. Noonan 1985: 42), usage-based approaches – drawing on conversational data – proposed an alternative analysis, viewing the complement clauses as central and the CTP-clauses as “epistemic/evidential/evaluative fragments” (Thompson 2002: 136–141). Recently Boye & Harder’s (2007, 2012) functional approach to CTP-clauses has attempted to strike a balance between the traditional and the usage-based approaches, arguing for a distinction between the levels of usage and structure, and proposing tests to attribute instances showing the same structure to three different types of use, i.e. discourse-primary lexical uses, discourse-secondary lexical uses, and grammatical uses (invariably discourse-secondary). The papers in this issue present various functionalist approaches to the topic of CTP-clauses, with a good mix of theoretical concerns and empirical case studies. After an introduction by the guest editors, the issue proper moves from more general and typological papers, over more theoretically-oriented papers to diachronic corpus studies of English.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • constructions
  • embodiment
  • gesture
  • interaction
  • multimodality
  • viewpoint


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