|Series||Typological Studies in Language|
|LC Class||P302 .T66x 1983|
Topic Continuity in Discourse—subtitled A Quantitative Cross Language Study—is a book edited by Talmy Givón, with contributions by himself and other experts in various languages. It is part of the series Typological Studies in Language (a supplement series to the academic journal Studies in Language ) and was published by John Benjamins in 1983.
The book presents a cross-linguistic hierarchy of natural language "syntactic coding of topic accessibility" (including, for example, discourse participant prominence).Givón describes the aim of the research, documented in the book, as "the rather ambitious goal ... to define, in a preliminary but cross-linguistically stable fashion, the basic principles of iconicity underlying the syntactic coding of the topic identification domain."
Givón's starting point was his previously published (1978, 1979, 1981 and 1982) one-dimensional scale. As listed by him, from "most continuous/accessible topic" to "most discontinuous/inaccessible topic" this was as follows:
The language specific studies provided in the book are on Japanese, Amharic, Ute, Biblical Hebrew, Latin-American Spanish, written English, spoken English, Hausa and Chamorro. The data from these languages were analysed according to a common methodology, explained by Givón in the introduction to the book, and agreed upon by all the other contributors. The methodology involved quantitative measurements, which although statistical, were designed to be repeatable and applicable to any language.
In linguistics, deixis refers to words and phrases, such as "me" or "here", that cannot be fully understood without additional contextual information—in this case, the identity of the speaker ("me") and the speaker's location ("here"). Words are deictic if their semantic meaning is fixed but their denoted meaning varies depending on time and/or place. Words or phrases that require contextual information to convey any meaning—for example, English pronouns—are deictic. Deixis is closely related to anaphora, as will be further explained below. Although this article deals primarily with deixis in spoken language, the concept is sometimes applied to written language, gestures, and communication media as well. In linguistic anthropology, deixis is treated as a particular subclass of the more general semiotic phenomenon of indexicality, a sign "pointing to" some aspect of its context of occurrence.
Traditional grammar defines the object in a sentence as the entity that is acted upon by the subject. There is thus a primary distinction between subjects and objects that is understood in terms of the action expressed by the verb, e.g. Tom studies grammar—Tom is the subject and grammar is the object. Traditional sentence structure divides the simple sentence into a subject and a predicate, whereby the object is taken to be part of the predicate. Many modern theories of grammar, in contrast, take the object to be a verb argument like the subject, the difference between them being mainly just their prominence; the subject is ranked higher than the object and is thus more prominent.
In linguistics, code-switching or language alternation occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. Multilinguals, speakers of more than one language, sometimes use elements of multiple languages when conversing with each other. Thus, code-switching is the use of more than one linguistic variety in a manner consistent with the syntax and phonology of each variety.
In linguistics, the topic, or theme, of a sentence is what is being talked about, and the comment is what is being said about the topic. This division into old vs. new content is called information structure. It is generally agreed that clauses are divided into topic vs. comment, but in certain cases the boundary between them depends on which specific grammatical theory is being used to analyze the sentence.
Focus is a grammatical category that determines which part of the sentence contributes new, non-derivable, or contrastive information. Focus is related to information structure. Contrastive focus specifically refers to the coding of information that is contrary to the presuppositions of the interlocutor.
Thomas Givon is a linguist and writer. He is one of the founders of "West Coast Functionalism", today classified as a usage-based model of language, and of the linguistics department at the University of Oregon. Givón advocates an evolutionary approach to language and communication.
In linguistics and social sciences, markedness is the state of standing out as unusual or divergent in comparison to a more common or regular form. In a marked–unmarked relation, one term of an opposition is the broader, dominant one. The dominant default or minimum-effort form is known as unmarked; the other, secondary one is marked. In other words, markedness involves the characterization of a "normal" linguistic unit against one or more of its possible "irregular" forms.
Two types of language change can be characterized as linguistic drift: a unidirectional short-term and cyclic long-term drift.
In historical linguistics and language change, grammaticalization is a process of language change by which words representing objects and actions become grammatical markers. Thus it creates new function words by a process other than deriving them from existing bound, inflectional constructions, instead deriving them from content words. For example, the Old English verb willan 'to want', 'to wish' has become the Modern English auxiliary verb will, which expresses intention or simply futurity. Some concepts are often grammaticalized, while others, such as evidentiality, are not so much.
In the field of linguistics, syntactic change is change in the syntactic structure of a natural language.
In linguistics, inversion is any of several grammatical constructions where two expressions switch their canonical order of appearance, that is, they invert. The most frequent type of inversion in English is subject–auxiliary inversion in which an auxiliary verb changes places with its subject; it often occurs in questions, such as Are you coming?, with the subject you is switched with the auxiliary are. In many other languages, especially those with a freer word order than English, inversion can take place with a variety of verbs and with other syntactic categories as well.
The history of linguistics in the United States begins with William Dwight Whitney, the first U.S.-taught academic linguist, who founded the American Philological Association in 1869.
A resumptive pronoun is a personal pronoun appearing in a relative clause, which restates the antecedent after a pause or interruption.
1. This is the girli that whenever it rains shei cries.
Context as Other Minds—subtitled The Pragmatics of Sociality, Cognition and Communication—is a book by Talmy Givón published by John Benjamins in 2005. The book presents a model of human linguistic communication based on the idea that language is an evolutionary adaptation, where speakers address themselves to the context of minds they believe to be similar to their own.
A topic-prominent language is a language that organizes its syntax to emphasize the topic–comment structure of the sentence. The term is best known in American linguistics from Charles N. Li and Sandra Thompson, who distinguished topic-prominent languages, such as Korean and Japanese, from subject-prominent languages, such as English.
Typological Studies in Language is a series of books published for academics in linguistic typology by John Benjamins Publishing Company since 1982. Joseph H. Greenberg was honorary editor and Talmy Givón general editor at the inception of the series. Michael Noonan was general editor from 1995 to 2009, being succeeded by Spike Gildea.
Logophoricity is a phenomenon of binding relation that may employ a morphologically different set of anaphoric forms, in the context where the referent is an entity whose speech, thoughts, or feelings are being reported. This entity may or may not be distant from the discourse, but the referent must reside in a clause external to the one in which the logophor resides. The specially-formed anaphors that are morphologically distinct from the typical pronouns of a language are known as logophoric pronouns, originally coined by the linguist Claude Hagège. The linguistic importance of logophoricity is its capability to do away with ambiguity as to who is being referred to. A crucial element of logophoricity is the logophoric context, defined as the environment where use of logophoric pronouns is possible. Several syntactic and semantic accounts have been suggested. While some languages may not be purely logophoric, logophoric context may still be found in those languages; in those cases, it is common to find that in the place where logophoric pronouns would typically occur, non-clause-bounded reflexive pronouns appear instead.
A discourse topic is the central participant or idea of a stretch of connected discourse or dialogue. The topic is what the discourse is about. The notion is often confused with the related notion of sentence-level topic/theme, which is frequently defined as "what the sentence is about". Discourse topics have been of considerable interest to linguists because of the relations between the topic of a discourse and various aspects of the grammatical structure of the sentence, including strategies for referent-tracking, topic-chaining, and pronominalization.
Universal Dependencies, frequently abbreviated as UD, is an international cooperative project to create treebanks of the world's languages. The treebanks are openly accessible and available for all purposes having to do with automated text processing in the field of NLP and for research into natural language syntax and grammar, especially with respect to typological studies. The UD webpage introduces UD's development and goals as follows: