Topics occurring in sentence-final position have fascinated linguists over the past few decades, and many proposals have been put forth to account for their frequent occurrence in spoken language. Nevertheless, still in 2012, Luke argued that “no consensus has been reached as to how their true essence should be captured, making it one of the most intriguing and least well understood phenomena in Chinese grammar” (Luke 2012: 338). To complicate things further, more recent studies in the area of conversation analysis and grammaticalization have pointed out a substantial overlap between the functions of right dislocations and those performed by more or less conventionalized markers of (inter)subjectivity occurring at the utterance right periphery such as pragmatic markers and sentence-final particles. However, despite the considerable amount of work in both fields of study, no unified account of the different types of linguistic elements characterizing Mandarin right periphery has been proposed, nor has the interaction between these elements been duly explored. The present dissertation has a three-fold objective: i) provide a corpus-driven outline of the expressions naturally occurring at the right periphery; ii) identify and describe their pragmatic functions in terms of information structure, discourse organization and interpersonal relationship management; iii) explore their intersection and interaction with other overtly marked dimensions of (inter)subjectivity. The novelty of this thesis consists in i) the holistic approach to the Mandarin utterance right periphery; iii) the adoption of both theoretical-based and corpus-driven categories to explore the relationship between right-peripheral elements and context-dependent features; ii) the employment of exploratory data analysis and data-manipulation methods recently adopted in cognitive and usage-based linguistics studies (e.g. Tantucci & Wang, 2018) such as conditional inference trees (Tagliamonte & Baayen, 2012). Some of the results reached by this study such as the gender-based usage of (subjective) right-peripheral expressions are previously unaccounted for in the literature; others, including the strong bias of the right periphery towards the expression of interpersonal meanings, not necessarily in terms of the inherent semantics of the sentence-final expressions but rather in terms of the functions performed, as well as the illocutional complexity revolving around evaluation, confirm hypotheses from previous literature; still other findings partially corroborate theoretical claims on the information structural functions of right-peripheral topics by mapping the emphatic, referential integration and discourse-contingent functions of topical expressions with distinct coreferential, activation status and tentative prosodic profiles.
Not just postposed topics. An integrated pragmatic account of the sentence-final slot in Mandarin Chinese / Lepadat, Carmen. - (2021 Sep 14).
|Titolo:||Not just postposed topics. An integrated pragmatic account of the sentence-final slot in Mandarin Chinese|
|Data di discussione:||14-set-2021|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||07a Tesi di Dottorato|