< Back to previous page


The diachrony of the fact that-clauses

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This paper sheds new light on the status of the fact that-clauses as a diagnostic alternation of factive that-clauses, which are traditionally defined as presupposed true by the speaker. It does so by tracing their diachronic sense development and shifting distribution in Late Modern English. The analysis shows that in early uses, the fact that-clauses were predominantly used in contexts in which require overtly nominalised form of the clause (e.g., following a preposition), or in the context of predicates which tend to be classified as non-factive (e.g., state, believe). In the latter case, the combination with a the fact that-clause is argued to realise a third construction type, in between “factive” and “reporting” ones, which allows for the combination of traditional “non-factive” predicates with complements that show a grammatical semantics and behaviour (nominalised status and conceptual independence) which is argued to be more characteristic of factive complements than truth presupposition.
Journal: English Studies
ISSN: 0013-838X
Issue: 2
Volume: 100
Pages: 220 - 239
Publication year:2019
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education