Chapter published in:Surprise at the Intersection of Phenomenology and Linguistics
Edited by Natalie Depraz and Agnès Celle
[Consciousness & Emotion Book Series 11] 2019
► pp. 44–55
The representation of surprise in English and the retroactive construction of possible paths
The current article considers the linguistic representation of surprise in English within the framework of the Theory of Enunciative and Predicative Operations. English appears not to have any markers specialised in the expression of surprise. Here I argue that English does nonetheless possess numerous formal configurations which may be shown to derive from a recurrent schema of surprise. I consider three such configurations: the concessive YET, OF ALL + plural noun and ONLY TO + verb in narrative context. Each configuration mobilises an abstract schema involving a discontinuity between an anticipated situation and an actual situation, i.e. an opposition between a – retroactively re-constructed – virtual class of expected possibilities and a validated occurrence.
Keywords: Theory of Enunciative and Predicative Operations, mirativity, surprise, discontinuity, concession, quantification, interrogation
Published online: 06 November 2019
(2004) BYU-BNC. (Based on the British National Corpus from Oxford University Press). Available online: http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/.
De Vogüé, Sarah