The Comment Clause — the Modificator of the Speaker`s Responsibility


  • Judita Džežulskienė Kaunas University of Technology



komentuojamieji sakiniai, parentezė, sąšvelniai, propozicijos turinys, adresatas, adresantas


The present paper concentrates on the first person-oriented comment clauses based on verbs of communication such as I say, let`s say, I dare say, would say, should say, might say. The feature they have in common is that they are used parenthetically; that is to say, they can occur at various places in an utterance without being syntactically integrated. The aim of this work is to analyze the pragmatics of comment clauses with the English verb say and their translation into the English-Lithuanian Translation Corpus, completed by the VDU Computer Linguistics Center ( A review of a research on comment clauses in Lithuanian and English languages shows that despite these structural differences between syntactic forms, it is a common feature of these parenthetical structures to perform pragmatic functions, relying on the speaker’s attitude or position. There are two ways in which the downgrading of the speaker‘s commitment can be accomplished: by alleviating responsibility or by sharing it between the speaker and the adressee. Comment clauses I say perform functions of revising, explanation, cohesion or one example being distinguished from the others; comment clauses I dare say have a "comment" feature, which is broadly understood as the speaker's approach or beliefs. They are mostly found in the parallel corpus sentences, i. e. respectively 37 % and 26 %. Lithuanian equivalents directly convey pragmatic meanings of the comment clauses and shift pragmatic meanings of the comment clauses using grammatical and lexical replacements.