Semantic Denotations and Pragmatic Aspects of That - Clause Complements in English Bedtime Stories


  • Abhinan Wongkittiporn


English Bedtime Stories, That - Clause Complements, Omission of the Complementizer That, Semantic Denotations, Pragmatic Aspects


This study investigated semantic denotations and pragmatic aspects concerning the variants of that - clause complements in English bedtime stories (i.e., I fear ∅/that the people will choose him for their king). While previous studies focused on different variants of that – clause complements in academic articles, this study contributes to a novel view by examining the variants of that - clause complements in English bedtime stories. The materials in this study are Complete Shakespeare: Stories from all the plays (2016), Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban (2017) and the Complete Dickens: All the novels retold (2018) as they are best-selling stories ( Approximately 300,000 words were made up of 162 tokens of variants. The framework of semantic denotations follows previous studies (Kim & Crosthwaite, 2019; Man & Chau, 2019), whereas Giparaite and Ritčik (2017) is based upon for the framework of pragmatic aspects. The results of this study show that the productive semantic denotations of both variants in English bedtime stories are subjectivity, emotion and expectation. 85.45 percent of the complementizer that are omitted. The omission of the complementizer that is due to formulaic pattern of language use, spoken mode of communication and economy principle. It is hoped that this study will be useful for learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) and learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in terms of applying the notion of writing children bedtime stories in their English classrooms.


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