Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Information structure, (inter)subjectivity and objectification1

  • Jenneke van der Wal (a1)
Abstract

This paper discusses how information structure can be seen as a subjective and intersubjective concept in Verhagen's (2005) and Breban's (2010) definitions, though less so in Traugott's (2010) use of the terms. More difficult is the question of whether markers of information structure can be characterised as (inter)subjective; this is more easily determined for morphological markers than for prosody or word order. For unambiguous markers of information structure, I suggest that their emergence (e.g. copula > focus marker) is typically accompanied by (inter)subjectification, whereas their further development (e.g. topic marker > subject marker) displays objectification. The paper not only shows that grammatical items can undergo an increase as well as a decrease in (inter)subjectivity – thus denying strict unidirectionality – but also confirms that these processes are independent of grammaticalisation.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Author's address: Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA, UKjennekevanderwal@gmail.com
Footnotes
Hide All
[1]

This paper is part of the research project Grammaticalization and (Inter)subjectification (GRAMIS), funded by the Belgian Science Policy. I wish to thank three anonymous Journal of Linguistics referees, and Kristin Davidse, David Willis, Tine Breban, Freek van de Velde, Arie Verhagen, and specifically Heiko Narrog and Steve Nicolle for discussion of and input into this paper, although the views expressed here do not necessarily match theirs, and any errors remain my own.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Klaus Abels & Peter Muriungi . 2008. The focus marker in Kîîtharaka: Syntax and semantics. Lingua 118, 687731.

Felix K. Ameka 1991. How discourse particles mean: The case of the Ewe ‘terminal’ particles. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 12, 143170.

Mira Ariel . 2008. Pragmatics and grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

David Beaver & Brady Clark . 2008. Sense and sensitivity. Oxford: Blackwell.

Laurel J. Brinton & Elizabeth Closs Traugott . 2005. Lexicalization and language change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Leston Buell . 2011. Zulu ngani ‘why’: Postverbal and yet in CP. Lingua 121.5, 805821.

Lisa L.-S. Cheng & Laura J. Downing . 2009. Where's the topic in Zulu?The Linguistic Review 26, 207238.

Ulrich Detges & Richard Waltereit . 2002. Grammaticalization vs. reanalysis: A semantic-pragmatic account of functional change in grammar. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 21, 151195.

Michael Diercks . 2011. The morphosyntax of Lubukusu locative inversion and the parametrization of Agree. Lingua 121.5, 702720.

Mara Frascarelli . 1999. The prosody of focus in Italian. Probus 11.2, 209238.

Bruce Fraser . 1999. What are discourse markers? Journal of Pragmatics 31, 931952.

Talmy Givón . 2001. Syntax, vol. I.Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Tom Güldemann . 2003. Present progressive vis-à-vis predication focus in Bantu: A verbal category between semantics and pragmatics. Studies in Language 27.2, 323360.

Paul J. Hopper & Elizabeth Closs Traugott . 2003. Grammaticalization, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Larry M. Hyman 1999. The interaction between focus and tone in Bantu. In Georges Rebuschi & Laurice Tuller (eds.), The grammar of focus, 151178. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Christian Koops & Martin Hilpert . 2009. The co-evolution of syntactic and pragmatic complexity: Diachronic and cross-linguistic aspects of pseudoclefts. In Talmy Gívon & Masayoshi Shibatani (eds.), Syntactic complexity: Diachrony, acquisition, neuro-cognition, evolution, 215238. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Manfred Krifka & Renate Musan . 2012. Information structure: Overview and linguistic issues. In Manfred Krifka & Renate Musan (eds.), The expression of information structure, 144. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Knud Lambrecht . 1994. Information structure and sentence form. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chungmin Lee . 2003. Contrastive topic and proposition structure. In Anna Maria Di Sciullo (ed.), Asymmetry in grammar, 345372. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Dejan Matić & Daniel Wedgwood . 2012. The meanings of focus: The significance of an interpretation-based category in cross-linguistic analysis. Journal of Linguistics 49.1, 127163.

Valeria Molnár & Susanne Winkler (eds.). 2006. The architecture of focus. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Yukiko Morimoto . 2009. From topic to subject marking: Implications for a typology of subject marking. In Helen de Hoop & Peter de Swart (eds.), Differential subject marking, 199221. Dordrecht: Springer.

Ad Neeleman , Elena Titov , Hans van de Koot & Reiko Vermeulen . 2009. A syntactic typology of topic, focus and contrast. In Jeroen van Craenenbroeck (ed.), Alternatives to cartography, 1552. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Muriel Norde . 2009. Degrammaticalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jan Nuyts . 2001. Epistemic modality, language, and conceptualization. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Amanda L. Patten 2010. Grammaticalization and the it-cleft construction. In Elizabeth Closs Traugott & Graeme Trousdale (eds.), Gradience, gradualness and grammaticalization, 221244. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Luigi Rizzi . 1997. The fine structure of the left periphery. In Liliane Haegeman (ed.), Elements of grammar, 281337. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Mats Rooth . 1992. A theory of focus interpretation. Natural Language Semantics 1.1, 75116.

Elisabeth O. Selkirk 2008. Contrastive focus, givenness and phrase stress. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 55, 331346.

Peter F. Strawson 1964. Identifying reference and truth values. Theoria 30, 96118.

Mauro Tosco . 2010. Why contrast matters: Information structure in Gawwada (East Cushitic). In Ines Fiedler & Anne Schwarz (eds.), The expression of information structure, 315348. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Elizabeth Closs Traugott . 1982. From propositional to textual and expressive meanings: Some semantic-pragmatic aspects of grammaticalization. In Winfred P. Lehmann & Yakov Malkiel (eds.), Perspectives on historical linguistics, 245271. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Elizabeth Closs Traugott . 2002. From etymology to historical pragmatics. In Donka Minkova & Robert Stockwell (eds.), Studies in the history of the English language: A millenial perspective, 1949. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Hubert Truckenbrodt . 1999. On the relation between syntactic phrases and phonological phrases. Linguistic Inquiry 30, 219255.

Jenneke Van der Wal . 2011. Focus excluding alternatives: Conjoint/disjoint marking in Makhuwa. Lingua 121.11, 17341750.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Linguistics
  • ISSN: 0022-2267
  • EISSN: 1469-7742
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-linguistics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 60 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 498 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.