This work provides a comprehensive discourse-functional account of three classes of noncanonical constituent placement in English preposing, postposing, and argument reversal and shows how their interaction is accounted for in a principled and predictive way. In doing so, it details the variety of ways in which information can be 'given' or 'new' and shows how an understanding of this variety allows us to account for the distribution of these constructions in discourse. Moreover, the authors show that there exist broad and empirically verifiable functional correspondences within classes of syntactically similar constructions. Relying heavily on corpus data, the authors identify three interacting dimensions along which individual constructions may vary with respect to the pragmatic constraints to which they are sensitive: old vs. new information, relative vs. absolute familiarity, and discourse- vs. hearer-familiarity. They show that preposed position is reserved for information that is linked to the prior discourse by means of a contextually licensed partially-ordered set relationship; postposed position is reserved for information that is 'new' in one of a small number of distinct senses; and argument-reversing constructions require that the information represented by the preverbal constituent be at least as familiar within the discourse as that represented by the postverbal constituent. Within each of the three classes of constructions, individual constructions vary with respect to whether they are sensitive to familiarity within the discourse or (assumed) familiarity within the hearer's knowledge store. Thus, although the individual constructions in question are subject to distinct constraints, this work provides empirical evidence for the existence of strong correlations between sentence position and information status. The final chapter presents crosslinguistic data showing that these correlations are not limited to English.
The unifying topic of this volume is the role of information structure, broadly conceived, as it interacts with the other levels of linguistic description, syntax, morphology, prosody, semantics and pragmatics.
The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics presents a comprehensive overview of the main theoretical concepts and descriptive/theoretical models of Cognitive Linguistics, and covers its various subfields, theoretical as well as applied. The first twenty chapters give readers the opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge of the fundamental analytic concepts and descriptive models of Cognitive Linguistics and their background. The book starts with a set of chapters discussing different conceptual phenomena that are recognized as key concepts in Cognitive Linguistics: prototypicality, metaphor, metonymy, embodiment, perspectivization, mental spaces, etc. A second set of chapters deals with Cognitive Grammar, Construction Grammar, and Word Grammar, which, each in their own way, bring together the basic concepts into a particular theory of grammar and a specific model for the description of grammatical phenomena. Special attention is given to the interrelation between Cognitive and Construction Grammar. A third set of chapters compares Cognitive Linguistics with other forms of linguistic research (functional linguistics, autonomous linguistics, and the history of linguistics), thus giving a readers a better grip on the position of Cognitive Linguistics within the landscape of linguistics at large. The remaining chapters apply these basic notions to various more specific linguistic domains, illustrating how Cognitive Linguistics deals with the traditional linguistic subdomains (phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax, text and discourse), and demonstrating how it handles linguistic variation and change. Finally they consider its importance in the domain of Applied Linguistics, and look at interdisciplinary links with research fields such as philosophy and psychology. With a well-known cast of contributors from around the world, this reference work will be of interest to researchers and advanced students in (cognitive) linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and anthropology.
Introduction to Pragmatics guides students throughtraditional and new approaches in the field, focusing particularlyon phenomena at the elusive semantics/pragmatics boundary toexplore the role of context in linguistic communication. Offers students an accessible introduction and an up-to-datesurvey of the field, encompassing both established and newapproaches to pragmatics Addresses the traditional range of topics – such asimplicature, reference, presupposition, and speech acts – aswell as newer areas of research, including neo-Gricean theories,Relevance Theory, information structure, inference, and dynamicapproaches to meaning Explores the relationship and boundaries between semantics andpragmatics Ideal for students coming to pragmatics for the first time
The renewed focus on the evidential base of linguistics in general, but particularly on syntax, is in to a large degree dependent on technological developments: computers, electronic storage and transmission. These factors have enabled a revolution in the accessibility of digitally stored language, both in sampled and organized corpora and in its raw unsampled form on the internet. But this technology has also allowed a step-change in experimental methods readily available to linguists. The new arrival of such enormous quantities of data in greatly increased detail has made information accessible which could previously not even have been dreamed of. This volume is a selection of research reports from linguists who are making use of this new information and trying to integrate the new insights into their analyses and theoretical assumptions.
Marked word order and subjectivity in English-German translation
Author: Monika S. Schmid
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
This work presents an in-depth analysis of text- and speaker-based meaning of non-canonical word order in English and ways to preserve this in English-German translation. Among the sentence structures under discussion are subject-verb inversion, Left Dislocation, Topicalization as well as wh-cleft and it -cleft sentences. Various approaches to the description and analysis of the meaning potential of these structures are presented and discussed, among them theories of grammaticalization, subjectivity, empathy and information structure. English as a rigid word order language has quite different means of creating meaning by syntactic variation than a free word order language like German. Contrastive analyses of English and German have emphasized structural differences due to the fact that English uses word order to encode the assignment of grammatical roles, while in German this is achieved mainly by morphological means. For most ‘marked’ constructions in English a corresponding, structure-preserving translation does not lead to an ungrammatical or unacceptable German sentence. The temptation for the translator to preserve these structures is therefore great. A case study discusses more than 200 example sentences drawn from recent works of US-American fiction and offers possible strategies for their translation.