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Exemplification then and now: A historical overview of English exemplifying markers

Paula Rodríguez-Abruñeiras


Examples are discursive instruments intended to represent the more general unit to which they belong. A prototypical exemplifying construction has a twofold structure consisting of a general element (GE; the first unit, with a more general referent) and an exemplifying element (EE; the second, more specific unit whose referent is included within the referent of the GE; these are the ‘cases in point’). The use of an explicit link to indicate partial coreferentiality within these two units is compulsory. This paper focuses on those linking words/phrases which are used in English to convey such a relation, the so-called exemplifying markers (EMs). For a better understanding of these forms, a classification of such markers is proposed on the basis of semantic-pragmatic and syntactic criteria. With the aim of providing a more comprehensive approach to English EMs, some forms which were used in earlier stages of the language with an exemplifying function but which have now become obsolete are also discussed. Finally, the paper also draws attention to some forms which are not classified as EMs but which are on occasion found performing an exemplifying function.


Exemplification; exemplifying markers; pleonastic markers; obsolete forms; emerging forms

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Miscelánea: A Journal of English and American Studies

ISSN: 1137-6368