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Exemplifications, Selections and Argumentations

The Use of Example Markers in English and German

Ekkehard Eggs and Dermot McElholm

This linguistic research monograph focuses primarily on the uses of example markers or connectors in English (for example, for instance, such as etc.) and, to a lesser extent, in German ([so] zum Beispiel, beispielsweise etc.). It analyses these uses not only from a linguistics viewpoint (syntax, semantics, pragmatics, information and text structure, intonation) but also integrates issues of rhetoric, philosophy and, in particular, of argumentation theory. This approach leads to the distinction of three main uses of example markers − exemplification, selection, argumentation − and thus entails the abandonment of the traditional grammatical approach, which only recognizes exemplifying use, and of the more recent approach in computational linguistics, which only distinguishes selective use.


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2 The types of use of example markers – general overview


The small number of examples given above show that the example markers are subject to virtually no position restrictions. This may be illustrated by the fol- lowing example, which indicates the most important possible positions: (1) (For example) The band Boyce Avenue (for example) has (for example) played shows (for example) with (for example) Secondhand Serenade (for example) in important venues, such as (FOR EXAMPLE) the Hammersmith Apollo. All these various syntactical positions of use can be grouped into three types of use, namely: – exemplification (descriptive) – selection (descriptive) – argumentation The exemplifying use is present in (2), the selective use in (3) and the argumen- tative one in (4): (2) Boyce Avenue has played shows with Secondhand Serenade in important ven- ues, FOR EXAMPLE the Hammersmith Apollo. (3) a – Boyce Avenue has for example played shows with Secondhand Serenade in the Hammersmith Apollo. b – Boyce Avenue has played shows with for example Secondhand Serenade in the Hammersmith Apollo. (4) a – For example Boyce Avenue has played with Secondhand Serenade in the Hammersmith Apollo.12 b – Boyce Avenue for example has played with Secondhand Serenade in the Hammersmith Apollo. 12 House’s 2011 analysis, which makes sweeping generalisations concerning the use of example markers in English and German in scientific texts, only takes into account ex- ample markers in this pre-sentence position; she fails to see their function as argumenta- tive connectors. Matters are made worse by the fact that her determination of the func- tion of example markers remains extremely vague in many...

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