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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: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Preposing Add Dissertation
Author: Gregory Ward Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1985
Linguistic Subfield(s): Pragmatics; Semantics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Ellen Prince

Abstract: This research examines the class of English preposing constructions (e.g., `That part we haven't finished yet') and provides a unified theory of their discourse function. An analysis of naturally occurring data reveals that these constructions perform two simultaneous functions in discourse. First, the referent of the preposed constituent marks the backward looking center (BLC) of an utterance (cf. Grosz, Joshi, and Weinstein 1983). A BLC is a discourse entity which is related to the set of previously evoked discourse entities, i.e. the set of forward looking centers ({FLC}), via a salient scalar relationship (cf. Hirschberg 1985). Second, preposing constructions are 'presuppositional' in that they mark an open proposition (OP) as salient in the discourse (cf. Prince 1981). A taxonomy of preposing is presented, based on the type of scalar relation that holds between the BLC and the {FLC}; the discourse status of the OP; and the semantic type of information which instantiates the variable of the OP.