This volume brings together a collection of 18 papers dealing with the problem of word order variation in discourse. Word order variation has often been treated as an essentially unpredictable phenomenon, a matter of selecting randomly one of the set of possible orders generated by the grammar. However, as the papers in this collection show, word order variation is not random, but rather governed by principles which can be subjected to scientific investigation and are common to all languages.The papers in this volume discuss word order variation in a diverse collection of languages and from a number of perspectives, including experimental and quantitative text based studies. A number of papers address the problem of deciding which order is 'basic' among the alternatives. The volume will be of interest to typologists, to other linguists interested in problems of word order variation, and to those interested in discourse syntax.
Word Order, Discourse Segmentation and Discourse Coherence in Ancient Greek
Author: Frank Scheppers
Publisher: ASP / VUBPRESS / UPA
Category: Literary Criticism
Offering a wealth of detailed information concerning topics in Ancient Greek linguistics—including clisis, apositivity, lexicalization phenomena, sentencehood, and genre—this study argues that a number of Ancient Greek word order rules, most notably Wackernagel’s Law, apply to the “colon” or “intonation unit” rather than to syntactic units such as the clause. Based on an extensive corpus-database, comprising the whole Corpus Lysiacum and four Platonic dialogues, this reference contains detailed and enlightening excerpt analyses and follows a radically pragmatic approach to discourse coherence. This account will appeal to academics devoted to the Classics and linguistics.
Integrating various aspects of human communication traditionally treated in a number of separate disciplines, Olga T. Yokoyama develops a universal model of the smallest unit of informational discourse, and uncovers the regularities that govern the intentional verbal transfer of knowledge from one interlocutor to another. The author then places these processes within a new framework of Communicational Competence, which legitimizes certain nebulous but important linguistic phenomena hitherto caught in a noman's land between the formal and functional approaches to language. Russian word order, a classical problem of Slavic linguistics, is subjected to a rigorous examination within this theoretical framework; Yokoyama demonstrates how this “free word order language” can only be described by taking into account such generally neglected factors as the speakers' subjectivity and attitude. Of particular interest to Slavists is a new generative theory of Russian intonation, which is consistently incorporated into the description of Russian word order.
For some time the assumption has been widely held that for a majority of the world's languages, one can identify a “basic” order of subject and object relative to the verb, and that when combined with other facts of the language, the “basic” order constitutes a useful way of typologizing languages. New debate has arisen over varying definitions of “basic”, with investigators encountering languages where branding a particular order of grammatical relations as basic yielded no particular insightfulness. This work asserts that explanatory factors behind word order variation go beyond the syntactic and are to be found in studies of how the mind grammaticizes forms, processes information, and speech act theory considerations of speakers' attempts to get their hearers to build one, rather than another, mental representation of incoming information. Thus three domains must be distinguished in understanding order variation: syntactic, cognitive and pragmatic. The works in this volume explore various aspects of this assertion.
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.
While Modern Icelandic exhibits a virtually uniform VO order in the VP, Old(er) Icelandic had both VO order and OV order, as well as 'mixed' word order patterns. In this volume, the author both examines the various VP-word order patterns from a descriptive and statistical point of view and provides a synchronic and diachronic analysis of VP-syntax in Old(er) Icelandic in terms of generative grammar. Her account makes use of a number of independently motivated ideas, notably remnant-movement of various kinds of predicative phrase, and the long movement associated with restructuring phenomena, to provide an analysis of OV orders and, correspondingly, a proposal as to which aspect of Icelandic syntax must have changed when VO word order became the norm: the essential change is loss of VP-extraction from VP. Although this idea is mainly supported here for Icelandic, it has numerous implications for the synchronic and diachronic analysis of other Germanic languages.
ein internationales Handbuch zu ihrer Struktur, ihrer Geschichte und ihrer Erforschung
Author: Sebastian Kempgen
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Category: Foreign Language Study
The handbook is intended to present a well balanced general view of the current state of Slavic linguistics and the Slavic languages with regard to their synchronic and diachronic description. In contrast to previous undertakings of a similar nature, this handbook is not intended to be a grammar with chapters on individual languages. Its length, the extensive scope of its subject matter, the systematic approach and the method of description which reflect the current state of Slavic Linguistics set this handbook apart from others.
The contributions making up this volume in honor of Eloise Jelinek are written from a formalist perspective that deals with stereotypically functionalist questions about language. Jelinek's pioneering work in formalist syntax has shown that autonomous syntax need not exist in a vacuum. Her work has highlighted the importance of incorporating the effects of discourse and information structure on the syntactic representation. This book aims to invoke Jelinek's work either in substance or spirit. The focus is on Jelinek's influential Pronominal Argument Hypothesis as an "non-configurational" language; the influence of discourse-related interface phenomena on syntactic structure; the syntactic analysis of the grammaticalization; interactions between morphology, phonology and phonetics; and foundational issues about the link between formal grammar and function of language, as well as the methodological issues underlying the different approaches to linguistics.
In this book, linguistic achievements of word order studies in Chinese have been applied to Chinese second language acquisition research. By analyzing a great number of word order errors made by learners of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL), this book has developed a method for describing and explaining Chinese word order errors. With this method, the book has the potential to empower CFL teachers all over the world to teach Chinese in an informed manner, and particularly to teach Chinese word order more effectively and efficiently.
The Grammar of Discourse, Second Edition is extremely useful as a reference for linguistics researchers and graduate students interested in discourse analysis and textlinguistics. With material tested in classes at the University of Texas at Arlington, this influential work merits serious consideration as a text for first-year graduate courses in linguistics.
The book aims at providing a precise description of part of the Gothic syntax in the context of a formal theory of syntax. The following questions are addressed: To what extent can Gothic - despite its limited corpus - be used as data material? Further, which of the ascertained syntactic characteristics does Gothic have in common with other old Indo-European languages? Which of these features can be characterized as typically Germanic? It is shown that - despite a certain Greek influence - the Gothic Bible is indeed a rich source of data which can with some certainty be regarded as typically Gothic. Phenomena concerning the left periphery like personal pronouns, topicalization, left-dislocation and discourse particles are described and discussed within the generative framework, with additions from pragmatic and cognitive linguistics for those issues where syntax seems to be inadequate to cover the whole range of the phenomena concerned. The readership aimed at is that of linguists and philologists, and of scholars interested in the interrelation between both disciplines.
Chinese Grammar at Work adopts a cognitive-functional approach and uses a corpus-based methodology to examine how Chinese syntax emerges from natural discourse context and what the evolving grammar at work looks like. In this volume the author weaves together an array of fresh perspectives on clause structure, constructions, interactional linguistics, cognitive science and complex dynamic systems to construct a grammar of spoken Chinese. The volume contains discussions of a large number of topics: contiguity relation, the roles of repair strategies in the shaping of constituent structure, non-canonical word order constructions, pragmatics of referring expressions, classifier constructions, noun-modifying constructions, verb complementation, ethnotheory of the person and constructions specific to the language of emotion, sequential sensitivity of linguistic materials, meaning potential in interaction, the nature of variability and stability in Chinese syntax from the perspective of complexity theory. The result is a volume that highlights the connections between language structure, situated and embodied nature of cognition and language use, and affords a true entrée to the exciting realm of Chinese grammar.
This edited collection of previously unpublished papers focuses on Centering Theory, which has been developed in the context of computational linguistics and cognitive science. It concerns the principles by which sentences in a discourse are linked to one another. The authors' focus on naturally occurring data is part of a general trend towards empiricism in research on computational models of discourse. Centering Theory has attracted the attention of an international interdisciplinary audience and this book is a significant contribution to a fast-moving field.
In this book, Cinque takes a generative perspective on typological questions relating to word order and to the syntax of relative clauses. In particular, Cinque looks at: the position of the Head vis à vis the relative clause in relation to the position of the verb vis à vis his object; a general cross-linguistic analysis of correlatives; the need to distinguish a sentence-grammar, from a discourse-grammar, type of non-restrictives (with languages differing as to whether they possess both, one, the other, or neither); a selective type of extraction from relative clauses; and a tentative sketch of a more ample work in progress on a unified analysis of externally headed, internally headed, and headless relative clauses.
Proceedings of the bi-annual ICLA meeting in Albuquerque, July 1995
Author: Marjolijn Verspoor
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
The basic tenet of cognitive linguistics is that every linguistic expression is a construal relation. The first section of this volume focuses on issues of such construal and presentation of information, including figure-ground relations, image-schematic structures, and the role of syntactic constructions in information structure.In sections two and three papers are presented on cross-categorial polysemy between lexical and grammatical uses of a morpheme, and between different grammatical senses, and on the relationship between earlier lexical senses and later grammatical ones. The final section of the volume brings together studies which shed further light on transitivity and argument structure. The study of transitivity necessarily entails exploration of the relationship between syntactic constructions and the pragmatics and semantics conveyed by such constructions. As a whole, this collection of papers gives new evidence on the complexity and motivation of the mapping between linguistic form and function and offers a wealth of new directions for research on the construction of meaning at every level of the sentence.
This volume seeks to expand our understanding of the relation holding between discourse relations, cognitive units, and linguistic coding. The twenty contributions in this collection explore one or more of the following themes: How point of view, or the salience of information in discourse, affects the organizational coherence of text and discourse; the concept of cognitive and linguistic event and how events are reflected in text and discourse organization; the nature of linguistic coding of events and other kinds of significant information; and the cognitive bases or cognitive correlates of the linguistic organization of discourse.
New Approaches to Word Order Variation in Germanic
Author: Roland Hinterhölzl
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
The book addresses one of the most prominent and widely discussed topics in diachronic syntax, namely, word order variation and change in older Germanic. It presents a novel approach that explains these issues not in terms of parameters and parameter change or in terms of competition between two grammars, but in terms of competition between information-structurally marked and unmarked forms within one grammar.