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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."



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Dissertation Information


Title: Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts - An Approach to Establishing Text Structure Add Dissertation
Author: Elena Tarasheva Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Bulgarian Academy of Science (Institute for Bulgarian Language), PhD in Linguistics
Completed in: 2007
Linguistic Subfield(s): Computational Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): Bulgarian
Director(s): Maria Stambolieva
Lilian Grozdanova
Encho Gerganov
Ruska Stancheva

Abstract: Text structure has been researched in terms of co-referential chains
(Halliday and Hasan 1976, 1985), thematic fields (Viehweger 1976) or
derivatives, synonymy and other lexical relations (Hoey 1991, Morris and
Hirst 2002 ). Unlike these studies, the present one focuses on the
repetition of word forms, trying to separate lexical links from
co-reference. Texts from three genres: short stories, research articles and
political speeches in 2 languages (Bulgarian and English) are studied to
establish:

1. Is it true that repetitions are avoided in written texts?
2. Do repetitions of word forms group into recurrent structures?
3. Do repetition structures depend on genre?
4. If each occurrence of a lexicon item is characterised by its form,
intension and referent (Petofi’s pyramid 1985) do repetitions reiterate the
same form, link with the same referent or relate to the same intension?

The method of study is by using a concordancer to compare the form,
intension and referent of each occurrence of a repeated word form.

The results reveal that more than half the word forms in a text are
repeated and at least 25% of the notional lexemes. The repetitions form
chains typical of each genre which differ from nominative chains in several
significant ways. Each chain is characterised by a specific pattern of
referential projections, intensional structure and forms. The configuration
of predicative, generic and specific uses relate to the processes of
specifying, generalising, classifying etc., which form the coherent
structure of a text. The repetition of word forms features as a cohesive
mechanism because repeated word forms signal the significance of a lexeme
for the text; the different methods of presenting the referential set have
a repercussion on the coherence of a text; the fact that each genre is
characterised by a different set of repetition types contributes to the
intertextuality of the text.

The practical implications of the research include a researcher’s guide to
the structure of lexical repetitions in texts, a teaching manual on how to
repeat in the different genres and what to avoid, as well as an algorithm
for short summaries based on the type of chain.