Project A8 (Egg)

Structuring linguistic information using discourse particles


Discourse particles (DiPs; also known as modal particles) are an important means of modifying and administrating the common ground, because they create and refer to relations between utterances and belief states or rhetorical backgrounds in a discourse (individual backgrounds of the interlocutors or common ground). They are lexical means of givenness of propositions in such backgrounds and therefore grammatical reflexes of IS, i.e., they mark the information structural status of linguistic constituents and interact with structural markers of IS. Many DiPs play an information structural role on the textual level, too, because they are used for the organisation of texts (since they are cohesive devices just like other kinds of anaphors) and interact with discourse structure in this task.

The project has three subparts: Part 1 thoroughly analyses DiPs in their function as markers of IS. This analysis extends the basis for investigations of IS and will provide the framework in which to describe the semantic construction for DiPs. In Part 2, we will focus on the interaction between DiPs and structural means of marking IS, which encompasses in particular the relation between stressed and unstressed usages of DiPs and their syntactic and semantic differences, which we want to capture as a result of this interaction. Part 3 discusses the way in which DiPs contribute to the textual organisation and their interaction with discourse structures. We want to annotate and to evaluate these using the comments in the Potsdam Commentary Corpus. We hypothesise that DiPs (just like other cohesive devices) do not run in close parallel with discourse structure in persuasive parts of the comments, while they are closely aligned with discourse structure in descriptive parts of the comments.

Full description 3rd phase SFB 632 / A8 (excerpt from the application) pdficon small


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