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LINGUIST List 21.1891

Tue Apr 20 2010

Diss: Pragmatics/Typology: Smit : 'FYI: Theory and typology in info...'

Editor for this issue: Mfon Udoinyang <mfonlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Niels Smit, Dissertation Abstract

Message 1: Dissertation Abstract
Date: 18-Apr-2010
From: Niels Smit <nlssmtgmail.com>
Subject: Dissertation Abstract
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Institution: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Program: Institute of General Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Niels Smit

Dissertation Title: FYI: Theory and typology of information packaging

Dissertation URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=Ib-WmFpBG9IC

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Dissertation Director:
Enoch Oladé Aboh
Kees Hengeveld

Dissertation Abstract:

Linguistic expressions are shaped by what they mean and the context
in which they are used. Part of this context concerns the assumptions that
language users entertain about their interlocutors' state of knowledge.
The project explores to what extent these assumptions - operationalised as
'informational articulations' - impact surface structure, and whether their
cross-linguistic distribution can shed some light on the mutual orientation
of these articulations in conceptual space. To this end, a typological
analysis is conducted on fifteen genetically unrelated languages.
Articulations are identified on the basis of context, and the corresponding
expression strategies are rated for their informational multifunctionality
or lack thereof. On the basis of these data, the form-function interactions
are classified in terms of 'informational alignment' and are compared
cross-linguistically. It appears that the clustering of articulations in
surface structure reveals the relevance of three cross-linguistically valid
organisational dimensions in the domain of information structuring.

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