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A construction grammar analysis of topicalization and left dislocation in persian

Author: 
Yunes Azizian
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Goldbergian construction grammar as a cognitive theory which gives the same weight to form and function is used, here, to analyze Topicalization (TOP) and Left Dislocation (LD) as the very productive syntactic construction in spoken language of Persian. This theory by exploring argument structure and information structure, could present a comprehensive analysis of the studied construction. Results showed that the ‘agent’ cannot be topicalized in TOP and LD and the Aktionsart type of the verb plays no role in determining what may be topicalized in both of them. Preposed element in TOP could have a macro role assignment of ‘undergoer’ or no macro role assignment, but the element in LD must always have a macro role assignment. The topicalized constituent in LD, always represents with ‘-ra’ as topic marker, but the representation of this functional postposition with TOP is somehow optional. The leftmost constituent in TOP and LD constructions could have different functions depending on the previous discourse. The common functions of their sentence-initial element are ‘secondary topic’ and ‘contrastive focus’. The topicalized element in TOP could also be ‘focus’ which always contains new information. It also has been cleared that TOP and LD as abstract constructions are inherited by some less abstract constructions and also inherit some properties from more abstract ones. Goldbergi an construction grammar could determine their position in the network of constructions which exist in the mind of Persian native speakers based on their inheritance relations.

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