Structural Texture and Pragmatic Implications of Exclamations in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"

Ayad Hammad Ali


   The present paper sheds some light upon the pragmatic implications that can be deduced from the exclamations employed by the notable author William Shakespeare in his play Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare’s recruitment of exclamation in a distinctive way accruing two types of personal attitudes, negative and positive. The gushing exploitation of exclamatives with their ambivalent structures conveys the speaker’s implicit meanings incorporated in these structures bannered by the exclamation mark. To capture that implicit meaning cherished in an exclamative structure is based on the context of situation in which it is uttered, but without the context of situation this permits a range of different interpretations where some of them are totally unrelated or irrelevant to the speaker’s real intentions. For example, the word ‘much!’ without a context, it could mean the speaker wants more of something, but with a context it could mean incredulity or scorn.


exclamation, interjection, speech acts, and implicature.

Full Text:



Baker, Mona (2001). Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. London: Routledge.

Bussmann, Hadumod (1996). Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. London: Routledge.

Cruse, Alan (2006). A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Swan Michael (2005). Practical English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University.

Crystal, David (2008). A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Greenbaum, S. and G., Nelson (2002). An Introduction to English Grammar. London: Longman.

Geoffrey, L. and J. Svartvik (1994). A Communicative Grammar of English. London: Longman.

Jamieson, Lee (2014). Plot Summary for Much Ado About Nothing. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from

McEachern, Claire (2006). Much Ado About Nothing. Arden Copy, Retrieved in Jan., 6, 2014 from .

Searle, J. (1975). "Indirect Speech Acts." In: Cole and Morgan (eds.), Syntax and Semantics. Vol. 3. New York: Academic Press.

Trask, R. (1996). A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms. London: Routledge.

Pahuja, N. (1997). Anmol's Dictionary of Grammar. Delhi: Mehra Offset Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.