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LINGUIST List 19.1643

Thu May 22 2008

Qs: ToBI Codes for Topicalization vs. Left Dislocation

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        1.    Peyton Todd, ToBI Codes for Topicalization vs. Left Dislocation

Message 1: ToBI Codes for Topicalization vs. Left Dislocation
Date: 20-May-2008
From: Peyton Todd <peytontoddmindspring.com>
Subject: ToBI Codes for Topicalization vs. Left Dislocation
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Can anyone tell me the standard ToBI coding for Topicalizations vs. Left
Dislocations in English?

For example, am I correct in my impression that Left Dislocation is set off
by its membership in a separate intonational phrase, while Topicalization
is not? That's how it sounds to my ear, and evidently also to Selkirk, E.
(2005, in S. Frota, M. Vigario, & M.J.Freitas (eds) Prosodies. Berlin:
Mouton de Gruyter), who says the following of such examples as 'Alpacas you
have to treat with kid gloves.' Indisputably these preposed constituents
are semantically (and syntactically) an integral part of the root sentence,
and so cannot have the status of a Comma Phrase [=IP] themselves' (p. 13),
though she acknowledges that this can be 'obscured somewhat ... by the
focus status of these internal topics' (p.13).

As I would pronounce the sentences below, I think I hear something like the
following tunes (where, as a person not trained in ToBI, I refrain from any
attempt to distinguish e.g. H* + L and H -L). My point is that to my ear,
the tune applied to Ross's ancient example in (1) is not different from the
tune that would be applied to (2), which is a truncated version of an
'all-news' or 'out of the blue' sentence cited by Lambrecht (1994:49). If I
were to apply what I hear as the Left Dislocation tune to the first part of
(3), where I expand the first part of (1) to give more phonetic substance
for the tune to spread across, I would feel compelled to add a resumptive

      H     L           H L L%
(1) Beans I don't like.

          H              L                  H L L%
(2) A clergyman's opened a betting shop.

                 H L H H%                          H L L%
(3) Those beans you gave me, I didn't like'em.

Could a ToBI-trained person please tell me what the correct ToBI notation
would be for these types of sentence? Do you know of a published source I
can cite to support this (one which explicitly contrasts two types of
sentence)? Feel free to make any other relevant comments!

Thanks in advance!

Peyton Todd

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

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