Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

By Peter Mark Roget

This book "supplies a vocabulary of English words and idiomatic phrases 'arranged … according to the ideas which they express'. The thesaurus, continually expanded and updated, has always remained in print, but this reissued first edition shows the impressive breadth of Roget's own knowledge and interests."


New from Brill!

ad

The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek

By Franco Montanari

Coming soon: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek by Franco Montanari is the most comprehensive dictionary for Ancient Greek to English for the 21st Century. Order your copy now!


Book Information

   
Sun Image

Title: Finding Focus
Subtitle: A study of the historical development of focus in English
Written By: Erwin R. Komen
URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html
Series Title: LOT dissertation Series
Description:

This study reveals how two important focus articulations change over time in written English. Constituent focus, often accompanied by contrast, makes use of the clause-initial position in the oldest stages of English, but as this position comes to be used for the grammatical subject over time, the it-cleft construction is increasingly used for the expression of contrastive focus. There is no one-to-one mapping between contrastive focus and the it-cleft: the Old English it-cleft, on a par with modern Scandinavian counterparts, mostly functions as a text-organization device, and a synchronic study of Chechen shows that it uses the it-cleft exclusively for text-organization, while focus is indicated by word order and wh-clefts. Presentational focus, which is used where the main objective of a sentence is the introduction of a new participant, prefers to have this participant after the finite verb, but the strategy to achieve this goal changes over time: the word order flexibility of Old English allows new major participants to appear as subjects after the finite verb, but the growing demand of having grammatical subjects appear before the finite verb results in the use of an expletive strategy in late Modern English: the expletive is before the finite verb, while the logical subject follows it. The study on the change in focus realizations makes heavy use of texts that are enriched with referential information: the referential status of each noun phrase, and a pointer to an antecedent if a noun phrase is anaphoric. The success in using this information in order to determine focus domains leads to an important hypothesis, which says that focus is compositional in nature: focus articulations can be derived by combining syntactic and referential information. Further work should explore this claim in more detail.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Syntax
Subject Language(s): English
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460931123
Prices: Europe EURO 27.84