By Laurence C Thompson
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Additional resources for A Vietnamese Reference Grammar [incomplete]
He, he repairs it, gives it back to you, and takes your hundred dollars. The, uh, Governor, you know, has been trying to decide whether he’s going to commute it or not. Although the categories of the Givenness Hierarchy map to discrete attentional/memorial states, the hierarchy is implicational, in the sense that the conditions which license use of a particular referring form also license the use of any lower ranked form: “each status entails (and is therefore included by) all lower statuses, but not vice versa” (Gundel et al.
How can we characterize the small class of lexical subjects in our conversational data? In the following section, we will pose three questions, the answers to which will determine the applicability of topicencoding constraints, and in particular Lambrecht’s (1994) Principle of Separation of Reference and Role, to our data. As we will discuss in greater detail below, Lambrecht’s constraint states that the first mention of a referent cannot also be a predication about that referent. The questions are as follows: – Do the lexical subjects in our data denote topical (as opposed to focal) entities?
In particular, we ask: what does this marked linguistic choice have to do with other kinds of marked linguistic behaviors as described by Grice (1975) and Horn (1984)? The literature offers several candidate constraints. Chafe (1987) proposes that intonation units are aligned with information units in a one-to-one fashion. A corollary Lexical subjects and the conflation strategy of this constraint is described by Chafe as the “light starting-point” principle: subject NPs do not constitute either intonation units or information units.