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Is anybody aware of published analysis of this interesting construction, which seems to require what I will loosely term swear words to work? I believe I've only heard it in British English:

A1 - Dave got a job at Roche.
B1 - Fuck off did he! (=No he didn't; I don't believe you)


A2 - Whales are fish, you know.
B2 - Bollocks are they. (=No they aren't)

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    This is a language-specific question that may find better answers at dedicated sites: English.SE or English Learners.SE – bytebuster Sep 15 '13 at 11:21
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    The fact that you find the examples surprising is indicative of the interest of the construction, I would say. If you do a quick search for "bollocks is he", you'll see plenty of examples (e.g. "Bollocks did he throw a way an envelope with £2k inside. That's a big envelope and a big coincidence for the first time you've ever taken cash"- you'll have to disregard about half of the results - relevant ones are obvious.) And I disagree with the heavy-handed 'on hold' designation; this is precisely the type of quirky data that drove much work in generative syntax in the sixties and early seventies. – Luke Bradley Sep 15 '13 at 14:37
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    I agree with @LukeBradley - Mods are being unnecessarily heavy-handed here. This clearly isn't a question about whether or not a given construction is correct (which would make this a question about usage), but rather a question about how to give a syntactic analysis of a particular construction, which places it squarely in the remit of linguistics SE. The questioner could've done a better job at explaining why these constructions are surprising from the perspective of English syntax, but otherwise i think the question should be re-opened. – P Elliott Sep 16 '13 at 12:20
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    @acattle I don't think you could interpret the quotes that way if you heard them spoken. Their prosody would be similar to the American equivalent, "Like hell he did". I agree with others above that the question is definitely on-topic as is (it is not a prescriptive grammar or usage question; it's a syntax question and the data just happen to come from a single language) and should be re-opened, but maybe the OP should include a mention of this American English equivalent and note the word order difference as a point of interest. – musicallinguist Sep 16 '13 at 14:56
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    @GastonÜmlaut Transcribed data doesn't hurt, but it's not standard in syntax papers, and probably not necessary here. As a native speaker, I can tell you that the examples sentences don't carry interrogative force. If a non-native speaker of BrE can't interpret them this way, so what? Just to expand the dataset a little, i accept these permutations: (i) Bollocks did he! (ii) Bollocks he did! (iii) Did he bollocks! ...BUT... (iv) *he did bollocks! The interesting thing here is that fronting of the expletive triggers inversion, just like, e.g. a wh-word, but it is optional. – P Elliott Sep 17 '13 at 9:10
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This kind of construction occurs in multiple languages (e.g. Irish, Cantonese, Modern Greek); it is called Devil Negation, or Rude Negators. Comments above expressed confusion about the examples from OP; in American English, the usual form is like hell he did or the hell she did.

What is distinctive about it is that the negation is not expressed overtly; it is implied by the presence of an expression of anger or exasperation, as a reaction to the clausal content. Doing some googles,

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