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18 Cards in this Set

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Pragmatics
Branch of Linguistics that studies information structure
Given Information
information currently in the forefront of the addressee's mind
New Information
information just being introduced into the discource
Expressing New Information
Generally receives more stress
More elaborate; full noun phrase vs. pronoun
Expressing Given Information
Pronouns
Unstressed noun phrases
Sometimes left out all together
Topic
Center of attention in a sentence
Only construction that marks is "as for"
Doesn't have to be part of the sentence, it can be part of the discourse
Content
Element of the sentence that says something about the topic
Contrastive
Noun phrase that occurs in opposition to another noun phrase in discourse.
Also marked in sentences that express the narrowing down of a choice from several candidates to one.
Definite
Noun phrase in which speakers assume the addressee can identify its referent.
Pronoun
"The"
Indefinite
Noun phrase in which the addressee cannot identify its referent.
"A", "An", or by the absence of any article
Plural = "Some"
Referential
Refers to a particular entity
Out of context Non-referential sentences are ambiguous-rairly out of context in daily discourse
Fronting
Brings "topic" to the front of the sentence.
Marks givenness.
Lou I cannot tolerate. vs. I cannot tolerate Lou
Left-Dislocation
Syntactically similar to fronting
Uses pronoun: Holly, I can't stand her
Used primarily to re-introduce given information that hasn't been mentioned for awhile
Contrastive
It-Cleft
"It was Nick that Stan saw at the party"
Wh-Cleft
"Who Stan saw at the party was Nick"
"What I said was..."
Word Order
Some languages use word order to mark givenness (English does not)
Agent Passive
Passive structure in which an agent is expressed. "Data could easily be stored by [bureaucrats]."
Used if a noun phrase other than the agent is the given information
Agentless Passive
Passive structure in which an agent isn't expressed. "Data could easily be stored." [bureaucrats]= implied.
Often equivalent to active sentences with "They"