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LINGUIST List 21.1452

Wed Mar 24 2010

Books: Historical Linguistics/Pragmatics/Syntax: Speyer

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>


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Directory
        1.    Julia Ulrich, Topicalization and Stress Clash Avoidance in the History of English: Speyer

Message 1: Topicalization and Stress Clash Avoidance in the History of English: Speyer
Date: 19-Mar-2010
From: Julia Ulrich <julia.ulrichdegruyter.com>
Subject: Topicalization and Stress Clash Avoidance in the History of English: Speyer
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Title: Topicalization and Stress Clash Avoidance in the History of
English
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL] 69
Published: 2010
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
                http://www.degruyter.com/mouton

Book URL: http://www.degruyter.de/cont/fb/sk/detailEn.cfm?id=IS-9783110220230-1

Author: Augustin Speyer
Electronic: ISBN: 9783110220247 Pages: 286 Price: Europe EURO 89.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110220230 Pages: 286 Price: Europe EURO 89.95
Abstract:

The book is concerned with the interaction of syntax, information structure
and prosody in the history of English, demonstrating this with a case study
of object topicalization. The approach is data-oriented, using material
from syntactically parsed digital corpora of Old, Middle and Early Modern
English, which serve as a solid foundation for conclusions.

The use of object topicalization underwent a sharp decline from Old English
until today. In the present volume, a basic prosodic well-formedness
condition, the Clash Avoidance Requirement, is identified as the main
factor for this change. With the loss of V2-syntax, object topicalization
led more easily to cases in which two focalized phrases, the topicalized
object and the subject, are adjacent. The two focal accents on these
phrases would produce a clash, thus violating the Clash Avoidance
Requirement. In order to circumvent this, the use of topicalization in
critical cases is avoided.

The Clash Avoidance Requirement is highly relevant also today, as
experimental data on English and German show. Further, the Clash Avoidance
Requirement helps to explain the well-known syntactic structure of the left
periphery in Old English. An analysis positing two subject positions is
defended in the study. The variation of these subject positions is shown to
depend not on pronominal vs. lexical status of the subject but on
information structural properties.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Pragmatics
                            Syntax
                            General Linguistics
                            Language Change

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            Old English (ang)

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=46867


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