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  • It's cold, I know.

  • She's awesome, I know.

Are these comma splices? If not, what is the name of the I know clause?

Is there a name for the whole structure?

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It's just a stylistic variation on the more normal sequence "I know it's cold". It's definitely not a "comma splice", which basically means trying to use a comma instead of a full stop to separate two sentences. – FumbleFingers Sep 6 '12 at 16:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

When you invert the normal order of the sentence

I know it's cold.

you need a comma to make the sense clear:

It's cold, I know.

So while these appear to be two independent clauses, the first is actually a relative clause with an omitted that. Here is how the sentence would read if we were to put the that back in.

I know that it's cold.

And if we were to invert that, we would have

That it's cold, I know.

But that sounds a little stilted to the modern ear, so we just say

It's cold, I know.

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Excellent! Thanks very much :) – rachel Sep 6 '12 at 16:56
+1 Incidentally, the inversion does shift the emphasis from "it's cold" to "I know". – Kris Sep 7 '12 at 7:03

In those examples, I know is a ‘tail’, a feature of speech which reinforces what is being said.

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+1 You have put it better, what I was trying to express in my comment above. – Kris Sep 7 '12 at 7:04
@Kris: It's a term used in functional grammar, along with 'head' for a similar feature at the start of an utterance. – Barrie England Sep 7 '12 at 7:06

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