So Time

1. General

1.1. Label

So TIME Construction

1.2. Reasons for construction status

The construction has peculiar formal and semantic/pragmatic properties.

1.3. Examples

Podcasts are so last year.

e-mail is so five minutes ago.

That's so today.

(Examples from Wee and Tan 2008: 2100)

2. Language Information


2.2. Language


2.3. Variety

2.4. Speech Community

2.5. Language Contact

2.6. Time Period

relatively new construction

2.7. Stage of Acquisition

3. Form

3.1. Syntax


3.1.2. Internal Valency Constituency

The subject of the construction is realized either as noun phrase or noun clause, as pronoun or demonstrative. 'that' is particilarly common (Wee and Tan 2008: 2104), but in headlines etc. it is also syntactically optional.

Not mentioned by Wee and Tan 2008 is the verb, which seems to be a form of 'to be' always.

After the copula, we have a fixed 'so'.

The time phrase then can refer to a particular time period in the past, present and future, with the past being most common (Wee and Tan 2008: 2104-5). In order to anchor a time expression in the past, 'ago' or 'last' may be used, for instance ' e-mail is so five minutes ago.'

3.1.3. External Category

Including subject and copula, the construction forms a whole sentence. Structural Position


3.2. Morphology


3.2.2. Internal Morphological Properties of Elements

3.2.3. External Morphological Properties of Construction

4. Meaning

4.1. Semantics


The meaning of the construction is to attribute characteristics of the time presented in the time expression to the subject, "indicating how current or outdated the phenomenon is relative to the moment of utterance." (Wee and Tan 2008: 2105)

4.1.2. Internal Frame Event Participants Truth-Conditional Information

The construction does not express truthconditional information. Negation

"The default interpretation of the construction is that it refers to the past time and is intended negatively" (Wee and Tan 2008: 2106); therefore, negated time expressions referring to the present or future time can be interpreted, whereas negated time expressions referring to the past cannot:

so not today!

?So not yesterday!

(Wee and Tan 2008: 2106) Scope

4.1.3. External Semantic Class Relation to Construction-External Semantic Elements Truth Relations Semantic Presuppositions Semantic Entailments

4.2. Pragmatics


"the use of past time [in the construction, K.F.] indicates a negative evaluation regardless of how recently in the past the time specified might be. But the more recent the time expressions, the more strongly it signals that changes are taking place very rapidly in modern life" (Wee and Tan 2008: 2107)

4.2.2. Internal

4.2.3. External Indexical Properties Deixis

As mentioned above, the subject can be left out if it is inferable from the context. Intertextuality Interpersonal Function Speaker attitude

With past time references, the speaker expresses an attitude of the subject under consideration that dismisses it due to being outdated. Speech Act Function

The construction has an expressive illocutionary force. Rhetorical Function

The speaker presupposes a view of life in which changes are taking place rapidly and one should better keep pace with this rapid development. Style Pragmatic Presuppositions / Implicature

The speaker presupposes a value system in which changes are taking place rapidly and one should better keep pace with this rapid development.

4.3. Discourse Properties

4.3.1. Internal Turn Constructional Status

The construction constitutes a TCU. Within-Turn Position

4.3.2.External Sequential Context Position in Text- and Dialogue-Structure Sequence Type

4.4. Information Structure

4.4.1. Internal Topic - Comment

The construction follows general English patterns of topic-comment organisation. Focus

4.4.2. External Signaled Information Status Information Status Requirements

The subject of the construction is treated as a given (and can thus be left away if inferable).

4.5. Data

4.5.1. Introspection

4.5.2. Authentic data Source data properties

The authors, Wee and Tan (2008), seem to have used online Newspaper corpora. Methods of Analysis

4.6. Literature

Wee, Lionel and Tan, Ying Ying (2008): That's so last year! Constructions in a Socio-Cultural Context. Journal of Pragmatics 40: 2100-2113.

5. Relations to other constructions

5.1. Subtypes

5.1.1. Diachronic

5.1.2. Synchronic

5.2. Supertypes

5.2.1. Diachronic

5.2.2. Synchronic

5.3. Paradigmatic Relations

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