By Betty J. Birner
This paintings offers a entire discourse-functional account of 3 sessions of noncanonical constituent placement in English – preposing, postposing, and argument reversal – and indicates how their interplay is accounted for in a principled and predictive approach. In doing so, it info the diversity of the way within which details may be 'given' or 'new' and exhibits how an realizing of this type permits us to account for the distribution of those structures in discourse. additionally, the authors convey that there exist large and empirically verifiable sensible correspondences inside periods of syntactically related constructions.
Relying seriously on corpus information, the authors establish 3 interacting dimensions alongside which person structures could fluctuate with admire to the pragmatic constraints to which they're delicate: previous vs. new info, relative vs. absolute familiarity, and discourse- vs. hearer-familiarity. They convey that preposed place is reserved for info that's associated with the past discourse by way of a contextually authorized partially-ordered set courting; postposed place is reserved for info that's 'new' in a single of a small variety of detailed senses; and argument-reversing buildings require that the data represented via the preverbal constituent be no less than as everyday in the discourse as that represented through the postverbal constituent. inside all of the 3 periods of buildings, person buildings range with recognize as to if they're delicate to familiarity in the discourse or (assumed) familiarity in the hearer's wisdom shop. therefore, even though the person structures in query are topic to designated constraints, this paintings offers empirical proof for the life of sturdy correlations among sentence place and data prestige. the ultimate bankruptcy provides crosslinguistic information exhibiting that those correlations aren't constrained to English.
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Additional info for Information Status and Noncanonical Word Order in English (Studies in Language Companion Series)
As regards Schoolcraft’s understanding of the nature of Indian narratives, he conceived of them simultaneously and in varying degrees and combinations as literary forms and ethnological data. g. 4 First of all, ‘literary’ meant, in its most general sense, ‘to be read’. Insofar as literacy and access to books were tied to particular social strata, serving as a touchstone of bourgeois attainment, ‘literary’ also carried a dimension of moral meaning, as implying polite learning, marked by standards of taste, decorum, and refinement that needed to be cultivated in the process of literary production.
To find him a man capable of feelings and affections, with a heart open to the wants, and Bauman: Representing Native American Oral Narrative 49 responsive to the ties of social life, was amazing. But the surprise reached its acme, when I found him whiling away a part of the tedium of his long winter evenings in relating tales and legends for the lodge circle. (Schoolcraft 1851a:196) One of the significant implications of this sense of discovery was that Schoolcraft felt a lack of models and precedents to guide his collection, understanding, and rendering of these materials for dissemination to a wider audience.
Both histories acknowledged the ‘Asian’ as opposed to ‘European’ provenance of Hungarian. Both relied on the metaphor of ‘family’ and ‘relatedness’, but had contrasting political implications. One set of linguists, in the name of science and thus a higher Europeanness, accepted the politically less attractive family relation with the simplest of North-Central Asian societies. They wrote about the Hungarian kinship with Voguls, Samoyeds, and Ostyaks, small fishing communities of the upper Volga, living in ‘primitive’ conditions in the wilds of Siberia.
Information Status and Noncanonical Word Order in English (Studies in Language Companion Series) by Betty J. Birner