Article published in:Information Structuring Resources in Contrast
Edited by Bergljot Behrens, Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen, Hilde Hasselgård and Stig Johansson
[Languages in Contrast 7:2] 2007
► pp. 203–219
Right-dislocation in Catalan: Its discourse function and counterparts in English
This paper presents a corpus study of right dislocation (RD) in Catalan and discusses crosslinguistic differences of information packaging between English and Catalan. The Catalan corpus consists of 93 RDs which have been coded according to three parameters: (1) the point where the entity in the right-dislocated constituent had appeared in the discourse, (2) consequences of eliminating the right-dislocated constituent and (3) consequences of restoring the canonical order. I argue that RD in Catalan is a means to structure information in a coherent way by displacing old information from the main clause. Three main types of RDs can be found: (1) RDs which activate an entity which was no longer accessible in the discourse and make it highly salient, while still marking its discourse-old status; (2) RDs which make explicit an implicit, never textually mentioned, referent and places it in a discourse-old information position. (3) RDs referring to entities mentioned in the previous sentence. Such RDs convey an additional meaning, some ‘emotional content’, having to do with the expression of opposition or emphasis. In order to analyse crosslinguistic differences, an English text and its Catalan translation have been used. The Catalan translation contained 42 instances of RD, while the English text contained none, which shows that the two languages use different strategies to encode information packaging. The Catalan translation uses RDs mostly in cases in which the English original repeats the same phrase in two consecutive utterances and in utterances which convey contrast or opposition.
Keywords: information packaging, right-dislocation, discourse structure, Catalan/English
Published online: 07 December 2007
Cited by 6 other publications
Brunetti, Lisa, Laia Mayol & Xavier Villalba
Forcadell, Montserrat & Jaume Llopis
Mayol, Laia & Xavier Villalba
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