Article published in:Discourses in Interaction
Edited by Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen, Marja-Liisa Helasvuo, Marjut Johansson and Mia Raitaniemi
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 203] 2010
► pp. 263–290
Filling the German vorfeld in written and spoken discourse
The sentence-initial position (vorfeld) in German is filled in accordance with discourse structural consideration. Several types of elements compete for this position. Their distribution can be modelled by Stochastic Optimality Theory. It is filled in general by phrases that have at least one of the following functions: scene-setting elements, contrast, topic. In conflict cases the functions are ranked scene-setting >> contrast >> topic. In dialogic discourse other considerations play a role, too, such as the explicit marking of origo (deictic center) and rhetorical relation. Two additional constraints, dann-vorfeld and subject-pronoun-vorfeld, can be fit in; the ranking including those would be dann, scene-setting >> subject-pronoun, contrast >> topic. After insertions, the re-introduction of the topic is sensitive to which of the participants started the insertion: topics re-introduced by another participant than the one starting the insertion pattern rather with contrastive elements.
Published online: 22 December 2010
Cited by 3 other publications
Eide, Kristin Melum
Labelle, Marie & Paul Hirschbühler
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 01 october 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.