The syntax-discourse features of left dislocation in the recent history of Englisha corpus-based study

  1. TIZÓN COUTO, David
Dirixida por:
  1. Javier Pérez Guerra Director

Universidade de defensa: Universidade de Vigo

Fecha de defensa: 29 de abril de 2011

  1. Teresa Fanego Presidente/a
  2. Dolores González Álvarez Secretaria
  3. Juana Isabel Marín Arrese Vogal
  4. Ronald Geluykens Vogal
  5. Antonio Barcelona Sánchez Vogal
  1. Filoloxía inglesa, francesa e alemá

Tipo: Tese

Teseo: 334634 DIALNET


This dissertation investigates Left Dislocation (LD) in the recent history of English, especially in the Late Modern English (LModE) period, from the syntactic, semantic, informational and discourse-functional perspectives. Chapter 1 provides a workable definition of LD. Then the phenomenon is addressed from the generative (Chapter 2), cognitive-functional or informational (Chapter 3) and discourse-functional (Chapter 4) standpoints. This dissertation is based on data extracted manually from three different electronic collections or corpora, namely Eighteenth century Fiction (ECF), Nineteenth Centery Fiction (NCF) and A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers (ARCHER). Chapter 1 defines LD and points out a series of theoretical and grammatical features that may have an effect on the conceptualisation of the examples as more or less protottypical. Given that the label LD has not been uniformly applied to the same syntax periphery phenomena across the board in the specialised literature, it is crucial to clarify what is labelled as LD in order to deal with functional and pragmatic literature, it is crucial to clarify what is labelled as LD in order to deal with functional and pragmatic analyses (Chapters 3 and 4). Chapter 1 also deals with the exclusion and inclusion (from the LD label) of several constructions that have been associated with LD in the literature. Finally, taking into account grammatical and compositional features, a distinction is made between several different LD configurations within a gradient including a prototype and less central types. Chapter 2 provides an overview of several structural (generative or minimalist) analyses of LD with the aim of reflecting the structural nature of English LD by means of direct comparison with cross-linguistic instances of similar constructions. Chapter 3 reconsiders the semantic, informational and syntactic interpretations of the theme-topic interface and explores the role of LD as far as these views are concerned. The informational and cognitive-functional features of left-dislocates are analysed as a set of quantifiable features, namely topicality (or topic persistence), information status and syntactic distributional features. Chapter 4 deals with the multifunctional character of LD at the discourse level. First, from a cognitive or informational perspective, LD would be the means to avoid grammatical complexity, to avoid new elements in argument position and to ease processing. Second, from an interactive point of view, LD would be the most cited main 'referent setting' function of LD are further specified in Chapter 4 by means of a typology of four major functions and minor functions that relies on contextual features such as referentiality (Introductory or Forefronting), the semantic relationship between the dislocate and the copy (Narrowing or Contrastive), on general interactional circumstances (Acknowledge or Summarising) or on the speaker's attitude (Predicative or Correction).