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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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4 The uses of example markers in German

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In German the example markers are essentially used in the same way as in Eng- lish – but of course the differences in syntax of the two languages as well as dif- ferences in the use of relational markers and especially the propositional connec- tives result in significant differences. Generally, the rules also applies in German that example markers mark the list of examples in each case as being non- exhaustive; also, if they are used immediately after another relational expression they basically operate parasitically and thus function in this position as discourse markers. Equally, the condition derived from the non-exhaustiveness rule ap- plies in German: example markers can only be used when there is a possibility of things being otherwise. In German too, anteposition in front of the scope do- main is the neutral and natural position of example markers; the example mark- ers can also migrate using specific syntactical and intonational devices. But it is here that we find major differences – especially concerning postposition with selections – as a result of the specific syntactical properties of these two lan- guages, which have been partly discussed already (p.23ff.). Since of the three uses – exemplification, selection, argumentation – the first exhibit the greatest overlapping in both languages, we will first discuss the exemplifications, which are relatively clear-cut in German as well as in English. 4 The uses of example markers in German 124 4.1 Complete or almost complete overlapping: exemplifications In German too, the example markers anteposed in enumerative appositions func- tion as...

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