With (and Without) Absolutes

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We shall focus on augmented absolute clauses as style markers in four registers: journalistic, academic and imaginative writing and spoken language. Apart from the differences in the distribution of absolute constructions in the four registers, two tendencies in absolute use may be traced distinguishing between journalistic and academic writing on the one hand, and fiction and spoken discourse on the other. While in periodicals and academic texts augmented absolute clauses constitute productive means of clausal condensation, in fiction and spoken language there is a tendency towards using a restricted set of idiomatic absolute constructions loosely integrated in the sentence.


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