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Query Details


Query Subject:   Use of 'what it is is'
Author:   Emma Pavey
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Discourse Analysis
Syntax
Subject Language(s):  English


Query:   I?m interested in the use of ?what it is is? (and variations) as a fixedexpression used as a discourse marker/floor-holding device, as in thefollowing examples.(1) Q: Tell me about the women's group that you've started. A: I just started a group on campus when I got back from Italy. Rightnow it's called the Women's Group. Basically what it is, is I was tired ofthe things that happen to women being shushed.(http://flathat.wm.edu/November222002/thatperson.shtml)(2) S: ... isn't the Bush policy a continuation of the Clintonadministration's policy vis- a-vis Iraq? B: No, what it is is it's jacking it up on steroids and taking us intoa war that I think we can win without putting our troops in harm's way.(http://cgi.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0303/14/cf.00.html)I?m also hearing single ?is? versions (in the south-east of England) suchas (3)(3) What it is, I changed my migraine medication.It seems to me there must be some type of mutual influence/sanctioningbetween these (1-3) and ?double copula? constructions (and possibly theirsingle ?is? counterparts) ?The thing/problem is (is)? etc. which have beendiscussed before on this list.I?m particularly interested to know if the use in examples such as in (1-3)occur in other varieties of English, particular new Englishes, and to knowof any studies on this particular use.Thanks; I will post a summaryEmma PaveyDr Emma Paveyelpavey1@hotmail.com
LL Issue: 16.80
Date posted: 13-Jan-2005



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