LINGUIST List 12.613

Tue Mar 6 2001

Books: Pragmatics and Discourse

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.

Directory

  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Pragmatics: The Computing of Discourse Focus, by Yan Zuo & Wei Zuo
  2. Paul Peranteau, Pragmatics & Discourse: Linguistic Politeness in Britain and Uruguay, by Marquez-Reiter; Grounding in English and Arabic News Discourse, by Khalil

Message 1: Pragmatics: The Computing of Discourse Focus, by Yan Zuo & Wei Zuo

Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 13:38:15 +0100
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Pragmatics: The Computing of Discourse Focus, by Yan Zuo & Wei Zuo

The Computing of Discourse Focus
Yan Zuo & Wei Zuo
Tilburg University, University of Rochester 


This dissertation is a comprehensive and in-depth study of the notion of
focus with two of its salient characteristics being the
interdisciplinary approach adopted and the range of query covered. The
research is largely motivated by the realization that focus is a notion
figuring crucially in both core linguistic studies such as
phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics, and discourse analysis, and
peripheral linguistic areas such as psycholinguistics, cognitive
linguistics and in particular computational linguistics. 

The major contributions of the study can be summarized as follows.
Firstly after a critical review of the various previous definitional
accounts, it is concluded that the notion of focus is best defined as a
cognito-pragmatic one and accordingly the constructs of knowledge store
and discourse model are postulated before a working definition of focus
is proposed. Secondly, on the basis of this definition, the process of
focus determination in discourse is captured in the form of a formal
algorithm, namely, Focus Determination Algorithm (FDA), which, being
programmable and operationable, can be integrated into the discourse
modeling system. This formalization is enabled by the constructs of
knowledge store and discourse model introduced before and substantiated
by research findings from social psychology and neuropsychology.
Thirdly, the linguistic, in particular the prosodic, means of realizing
focus is discussed and for this purpose data from a range of languages
are cited. Similar to the determination of focus, the process of how
accent is assigned on the basis of focus is also captured in a
semi-formalized manner by virtue of a procedural algorithm, namely, an
Accent Determination Procedure (ADP).

As just mentioned, the research is marked by its interdisciplinary
perspective; it incorporates impetuses, insights and inputs from core
linguistics (specifically phonology and discourse analysis),
computational linguistics, social psychology, and neuropsychology. What
is particularly noteworthy is its orientation towards and potential
significance for natural language processing, especially the generation
of natural speech by enabling the integration of discourse-level
information such as focus into the prosody generation model.

 

3 89586 617 2. 
LINCOM Studies in Pragmatics 06. 
Ca. 140pp. USD 46 / DM 96 / � 29. 


New: A Students' and course discount of 40% is offered to the above
title. 

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard
no. / expiry date. Prices in this information include shipment
worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is available
with special discounts offered to individual subscribers.

Free copies of LINCOM's new catalogue for 2001 (project line 11) are
available from LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.

LINCOM EUROPA, Freibadstr. 3, D-81543 Muenchen, Germany;
FAX +49 89 62269404;
http://www.lincom-europa.com
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
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Message 2: Pragmatics & Discourse: Linguistic Politeness in Britain and Uruguay, by Marquez-Reiter; Grounding in English and Arabic News Discourse, by Khalil

Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 11:29:45 -0500
From: Paul Peranteau <paulbenjamins.com>
Subject: Pragmatics & Discourse: Linguistic Politeness in Britain and Uruguay, by Marquez-Reiter; Grounding in English and Arabic News Discourse, by Khalil

John Benjamins Publishing is pleased to announce the availability of the 
following two new works in Pragmatics & Discourse:

Linguistic Politeness in Britain and Uruguay.
A contrastive study of requests and apologies.
Rosina M�RQUEZ REITER (The University of Surrey)
Pragmatics & Beyond NS 83
US & Canada: 1 58811 015 X / USD 95.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of world: 90 272 5102 9 / NLG 190.00 (Hardcover)

The first well-researched contrastive pragmatic analysis of requests and
apologies in British English and Uruguayan Spanish. It takes the form of a
cross-cultural corpus-based analysis using male and female native speakers
of each language and systematically alternating the same social variables
in both cultures.
The data are elicited from a non-prescriptive open role-play yielding
requests and apologies. The analysis of the speech acts is based on an
adaptation of the categorical scheme developed by Blum-Kulka et al.
(1989).
The results show that speakers of English and Spanish differ in their
choice of (in)directness levels, head-act modifications, and the
politeness types of males and females in both cultures.
Reference to an extensive bibliography and the thorough discussion of
methodological issues concerning speech act studies deserve the attention
of students of pragmatics as well as readers interested in cultural
matters.

====

Grounding in English and Arabic News Discourse.
Esam N. KHALIL (University of Nijmegen)
Pragmatics & Beyond NS 82
US & Canada: 1 55619 982 1 / USD 90.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of world:90 272 5101 0 / NLG 180.00 (Hardcover)

Grounding in English and Arabic News Discourse explores the discourse
notion of grounding (viz. the foreground-background structure), and
examines it in the various structures that occur in short news texts. A
text-level approach to grounding and the differentiation between several
core concepts relating to the various textual and non-textual structures,
distinguish the book from other approaches in the field.
A corpus-based analysis focuses on sentence-initial expressions and
examines the grounding-signalling function of several markers in both
English and Arabic. The analysis captures constraints on the occurrence of
particular markers, and the extensive illustrative examples explain the
strategies that writers employ to cope with problems of recasting
grounding-values in news texts. The author also shows how the failure to
signal appropriate grounding-values is likewise associated with the
failure to deliver the appropriate type of text.
Grounding is a relatively unexplored area of investigation in Arabic
(text)lingusitics, and the study identifies a series of previously
unrecognized language features, highlighting the discourse pragmatic
function that syntax serves.
The book will be invaluable to researchers and students of discourse,
pragmatics, contrastive rhetoric, and communication. It will also be of
interest to all those involved in translation and intercultural studies.


 John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Offices: Philadelphia 
Amsterdam:
Websites: http://www.benjamins.com 
http://www.benjamins.nl
E-mail: servicebenjamins.com 
customer.servicesbenjamins.nl
Phone: +215 836-1200 +31 20 6762325
Fax: +215 836-1204 +31 20 6739773
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Friday, February 16, 2001