A Festschrift for Minoji Akimoto
SHIHOKO YAMAMOTO The Comment Clause in the Spectator 375
SHIHOKO YAMAMOTO The Comment Clause in the Spectator 1. Introduction The purpose of this work is to show in what ways comment clauses play an extensive part in the Spectator (1711-1712, 1714) in the 18th century, examining, in particular, what distinctive syntactic and se- mantic features are embodied in its comment clauses. The present paper also aims to show that it is by conveying a speaker’s attitude towards a proposition, and establishing an interpersonal relationship between essayists and the audience that comment clauses can function as effective linguistic resources. Of a great number of the contemporary periodicals in the 18th century (e.g., the Examiner, Review, the Medley, the Observer, etc.), the Spectator must be one of the most prominent and influential periodicals in that it had a circulation of 3,000, which was an out- standing record for a daily paper at that time (Bond 1987: xxv). There will be various stylistic and linguistic factors in the success of the Spectator: stylistically it adopted a style of “audience participation” (Bond 1987: xiii), i.e. Mr. Spectator’s active and elaborate interaction with the voices of the letters and covered such a wide range of topics as science, music, literature, religion, art, philosophy, education, the opposite sex and everyday concerns.1 As for politics, in this new publication, Addison and Steele manifest their political stance in the first issue of the Spectator, as in (1). 1 In the first issue of the Spectator, Mr. Spectator described himself as he was, depicting his history such...
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