On discourse-motivated “sorries”
Fictive apologies in English, Hungarian, and Romanian
This chapter discusses the forms and functions of fictive apologies with examples from English, Hungarian, and Romanian. The analysis is carried out from a usage-based perspective with examples from spoken and written language corpora. In terms of form, fictive apologies are instantiations of a construction containing an explicit expression of apology and a noun of address, which involves a fictive interaction and a role shift from actual discourse topic to fictive addressee. Fictive apologies perform multiple functions, such as disagreement, irony, sarcasm, refusal, reproach, humorous insult, and empathy. This chapter is the first extended study of fictive apologies that contributes to a more integrated account of the ways in which discourse is modelled by the conversation frame.