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Configuring Topic and Focus in Russian cover

Configuring Topic and Focus in Russian

Tracy Holloway King

This book discusses the syntactic structure of Russian, traditionally thought of as a ‘free’ word order language in which word order reflects discourse functions, Tracy Holloway King argues that Russian is a configurational language, but that the expected orderings reflect different structures. With an in-depth sytactic analysis of a free wod order language, King discusses the syntactic representation of discouse functions. The first part of the book presents this topic using Government-Binding Theory, while the second presents the topic employing Lexical-Functional Grammar.

Specifically, King proposes a tripartite division among topical-ized, focused, and discourse-neutral material and defines several types of topic and focus. Her distinctions are motivated by the different syntactic and phonological, as well as semantic, reflexes of the interpretation assigned to a constituent. Specific phrase structure positions act as lisceners for discourse functions: in order for a constituent to be interpreted as having a particular discourse function, it must appear in the appropriate position. Since the word order of a clause is derivative from the phrase structure, the motivated occurence of constituents in these posisitions results in the desired orderings and interpretations, without resorting to scrambling or stylistic PF reorderings. Ultimately, King suggests that this type of analysis can be extended to other free word order languages.

Tracy Holloway King is a research associate at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

Contents

  • 1 Introduction
    • 1.1 The Basic Problem
    • 1.2 Organization

  • 2 Background Assumptions
    • 2.1 Government-Binding Theory
    • 2.2 Lexical-Functional Grammar
    • 2.3 The Russian Language

  • Part I
  • 3 Evidence for Configurationality
    • 3.1 Coordination
    • 3.2 Scrambling
    • 3.3 The Genitive of Negation
      • 3.3.1 The Data
      • 3.3.2 Genetive Time Adverbials
      • 3.3.3 Analysis
      • 3.3.4 Phrase with Similar Distributions
        • 3.3.4.1 Po Phrases
        • 3.3.4.2 Non-agreeing Numerals
    • 3.4 Distribution of Negation Markers
    • 3.5 Head-Movements in yes-no questions
      • 3.5.1 Negated Questions
      • 3.5.2 Predicate Adverbs
    • 3.6 Traditional Subject-Object Asymmetries
      • 3.6.1 Pronominal Conference
      • 3.6.2 Extraction
      • 3.6.3 Weak Crossover
      • 3.6.4 Superiority Effects

  • 4 Linearly Ordered Topic and Focus
    • 4.1 Notions of Topic
      • 4.1.1 External vs. Internal Topics
      • 4.1.2 Subject-of-Prediction
      • 4.1.3 Shared Current Concern
    • 4.2 Notions of Focus
      • 4.2.1 Question-Answer Pairs
      • 4.2.2 New Information
      • 4.2.3 Contrastive Foci
      • 4.2.4 The Relevant Notions
    • 4.3 Russian Topic and Focus
      • 4.3.1 Traditional Divisions of the Russian Sentence
      • 4.3.2 Russian Topics
      • 4.3.3 Russian Foci
      • 4.3.4 (Non-) Emotive Sentences
        • 4.3.4.1 Non-emotive Sentences
        • 4.3.4.2 Emotive Sentences
      • 4.3.5 Conclusions

  • 5 S-Structure and Encoding Discourse Functions
    • 5.1 Positionally Marked Discourse Functions
      • 5.1.1 Topic Position
        • 5.1.1.1 External Topics
        • 5.1.1.2 Internal Topics
      • 5.1.2 Focus Position: SpecIP and Sentence Stress
      • 5.2 Configurational Topic and Focus in Other
        • 5.2.1 Hungarian
        • 5.2.2 Mayan
        • 5.2.3 Bulgarian
          • 5.2.3.1 Izvorski
          • 5.2.3.2 Rudin
      • 5.3 Intonationally Signaled Focus
      • 5.4 SVO vs. VSO

    • 6 Focus in Yes-No Questions
      • 6.1 What is li?
      • 6.2 Location of the Focused Constituents
        • 6.2.1 Fronted XPS
        • 6.2.2 Fronted Verbs
          • 6.2.2.1 Verb-Movement
          • 6.2.2.2 Restriction to I0
          • 6.2.2.3 Negated questions
          • 6.2.2.4 Predicate Adverbs
      • 6.3 Liscensing Movement and Focus Interpretation
        • 6.3.1 Spec-head Agreement
        • 6.3.2 Head-Adjunction
      • 6.4 Conclusion
      • 6.5 Cross-Slavic Comparison
        • 6.5.1 Serbo-Croation
        • 6.5.2 Bulgarian
          • 6.5.2.1 Bulgarian Clitics
          • 6.5.2.2 Head-Movement in li Questions
          • 6.5.2.3 Empirical Problems
          • 6.5.2.4 FocusP: Izvorski 1993, 1994

    • Part II
    • 7 An Overview of LFG
    • 8 Case Assignment and the Genitive of Negation
      • 8.1 Case Assignment in LFG
        • 8.1.1 Configurational Case Assignment
        • 8.1.2 Grammatical Functions and Case
        • 8.1.3 Lexical Case Assignment
        • 8.1.4 Semantic Case
        • 8.1.5 An Example
      • 8.2 The Genitive of Negation
        • 8.2.1 Neidle's Account
          • 8.2.1.1 Difficulties with the Account
        • 8.2.2 LMT and the Genitive of Negation
          • 8.2.2.1 Analysis
          • 8.2.2.2 Semantic Correlates

    • 9 In a Theory Without Movement
      • 9.1 Functional Uncertainty
      • 9.2 Positional Topic and Focus
        • 9.2.1 External Topics
        • 9.2.2 Internal Topics
        • 9.2.3 Preverbal Foci
        • 9.2.4 Right-Edge Foci
      • 9.3 Wh-Questions
      • 9.4 Where is DF Information?

    • 10 Capturing Head-Movement
      • 10.1 What can be in I0
        • 10.1.1 Simplex Verb Forms
        • 10.1.2 The Imperfective Future
        • 10.1.3 Blocking
        • 10.1.4 Predicate Adverbs
      • 10.2 Li Yes-No Questions
        • 10.2.1 ‘Fronted’ XPs
        • 10.2.2 Q-TYPE and Co-occurrnece Restrictions
      • 10.3 Why These Heads?

    • 11 Conclusion
      • 11.1 Summary
      • 11.2 Areas for Further Research
        • 11.2.1 ‘Free’ Word Order
        • 11.2.2 Discourse Functions
        • 11.2.3 Corpora

    • Index

1/1/95

ISBN (Paperback): 1881526623 (9781881526629)
ISBN (Cloth): 1881526631 (9781881526636)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575869683 (9781575869681)

Subject: Linguistics; Russian Language--Word Order; Russian Language--Topic and Comment

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