Salience and shift in salience as means of creating discourse coherence
The case of the Chipaya enclitics
The Chipaya language, an endangered isolate of the Bolivian highlands, has a set of three enclitics, =l, =m and =ʐ, which are coreferential with the subject of a clause but are not necessarily attached to it and are not obligatory. In this paper, I investigate the pragmatic function of these forms. The salience-marking enclitics (henceforth SMEs) occur at paratactic and hypotactic discourse transitions, where they indicate a shift in salience, thereby contributing to creating discourse coherence. Discourse transitions without a shift in salience are not accompanied by the enclitics. Those enclitics that occur at paratactic transitions have scope over at least the segment whose beginning and/or end they occur in, whereas SMEs at hypotactic transitions have scope over the clause they appear in. Use of the SMEs is genre-specific.
Keywords: salience, shift in salience, discourse transitions, discourse coherence, enclitics, Chipaya, Bolivia
- 2.Theoretical background
- 2.1Salience, the Chipaya SMEs and further discourse-structuring devices of Chipaya
- 2.2Discourse coherence and discourse transitions
- 3.Data and methods
- 4.Quantitative analysis
- 5.Case studies
- 5.1A folk story: The fox and the armadillo (DAT 26–1)
- 5.2A descriptive text: Animales ‘animals’
Published online: 17 August 2021
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