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Hyperbole in English
A Corpus-based Study of Exaggeration


Part of Studies in English Language

  • Date Published: April 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107637504
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About the Authors
  • Non-literal language is ubiquitous in everyday life, and while hyperbole is a major part of this, it has so far remained relatively unexplored. This volume provides the first investigation of hyperbole in English, drawing on data from genres such as spoken conversation, TV, newspapers, and literary works from Chaucer to Monty Python. Combining quantitative and qualitative analyses, it uses approaches from semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and classical rhetoric to investigate in detail both speaker-centered and emotive aspects of hyperbole, and also addressee-related aspects, such as interpretation and interactional uptake. Illustrated with a range of diachronic case studies, hyperbole is also shown to be a main means of linguistic creativity, and an important contributor to language change. The book concludes with an exploration of the role of hyperbole in political speaking, humour, and literature. Original and in-depth, it will be invaluable to all those working on meaning, discourse, and historical linguistics.

    • The first comprehensive treatment of hyperbole in a book-length study, which gives readers a good overview of important aspects of the topic
    • All claims about hyperbole are backed up with extensive authentic examples and, where possible, with frequency information
    • Combines synchronic and diachronic perspectives, providing an insight into the long-term and systemic effects of hyperbole
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    Customer reviews

    31st Jan 2014 by Dina

    exaggeration as a linguistic phenomenon is very important in our daily conversation for several factors,assertion, interest, economy and many other factors

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107637504
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The characteristics of hyperbole
    3. Realisations of hyperbole
    4. Using hyperbole: the speaker perspective
    5. Hyperbole in interaction
    6. Conventionalisation
    7. The rhetoric of hyperbole

  • Author

    Claudia Claridge, Universität Duisburg–Essen
    Claudia Claridge is Chair in English Linguistics at the Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She is one of the compilers of the Lampeter Corpus of Early Modern English Tracts and is the author of Multi-word Verbs in Early Modern English (2000), based on the above corpus. Her main research interests lie in the fields of historical linguistics, pragmatics, discourse studies, and corpus linguistics. Within these fields, she has published articles on such diverse topics as irony, similes/comparison, superlatives, questions, conditionals, and discourse deixis. She has also contributed articles to various recent handbooks, such as the Handbook of Corpus Linguistics (2008) and the Handbook of Historical Pragmatics (2010).

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