How as a declarative subordinator in English

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Nuphak Charoensirisoonthorn

Abstract

This study proposes the existence of the minor declarative subordinator how introducing content clauses that function as internal Complements inside VP alongside the declarative subordinator par excellence that. Using Huddleston and Pullum’s (2002) framework, the study suggests that this how is semantically and syntactically different from the usual adverb how functioning as an Adjunct in content clause structures. This makes clauses the subordinator how introduces genuinely declarative Complement clauses and not interrogative Complements or fused relative NPs as analysed in many grammars. Samples containing the item with a potential subordinator status are selected from corpora, and semantic and syntactic tests are applied to them.  Semantically, the manner interpretations, if present at all, are weakened. The investigation shows that content clauses how introduces behave like factive Complements, definite and their content presupposed of its truth. If this subordinator has a semantic content, the study suggests it should only be the fact.  Instances from corpora also reveal how-clauses to occur with verbs of saying, knowing, showing, perceiving, and also emotive factive verbs, which normally pick a declarative Complement.

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References

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