Double subjects and verbal demonstrations

William Salmon

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1 Scopus citations


This paper explores the role of a contemporary instance of anacolutha-what I refer to as a double-subject sentence (DSS)-in structuring a discourse. I argue that the initial subject of the DSS is semantically detached from the primary sentence and that it is a rhetorical tool used to project a new direction of discourse. To illustrate this detachment, I show how the communicative function of the initial subject is essentially that of a demonstration, a pointing gesture, that accompanies a demonstrative. I show ultimately that the DSS provides a useful illustration of the way speakers maintain knowledge of contextual conditions and how they use that knowledge to organize propositions efficiently and effectively in a discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3431-3443
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Demonstrative
  • Dislocation
  • Double-subject
  • Kaplan
  • Micro-rhetoric


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