People often utter a tautological statement such as A deal is a deal, Boys are boys, and Business is business. Such sentences might be presumed to be non-informative since they are necessarily true and do not appear to add new information to the knowledge of the hearer. However, such apparently non-informative expressions convey very complex import. How do they come to have their communicative significance?
The purpose of this paper is to suggest a reasonable approach to such English nominal tautologies that have the syntactic construction NP_i-be -NP_i, in which the two noun phrases are identical in sense and form. Based on this approach, I shall also analyze a variety of nominal tautologies.
I would like to start, then, with an examination of approaches in the past that consider such tautologies: Levinson (1983), Wierzbicka (1987, 1988), Fraser (1988). It is my expectation that such a procedure will lead to a valid and valuable approach.