ON THE TOPIC OF TOPIC AND TOPIC CONTINUITY

Autor(en): SCHLOBINSKI, P
SCHUTZECOBURN, S
Stichwörter: DEFINITION; Language & Linguistics; Linguistics
Erscheinungsdatum: 1992
Herausgeber: MOUTON DE GRUYTER
Journal: LINGUISTICS
Volumen: 30
Ausgabe: 1
Startseite: 89
Seitenende: 121
Zusammenfassung: 
``Topic'' is a commonly used term for a variety of approaches to a range of functional concepts. Few terms in linguistics, however, are so widely used without proper justification. We critically review four general approaches to topic. We show that problems arise when topic is equated with ``given'' or ``known'' information, with ``point of departure,'' with ``what the sentence is about,'' and with ``communicative dynamism.'' The notion of ``topic-prominent'' languages is also questionable, as is the methodology of ``topic continuity.'' We conclude that, in each case, the use of ``topic'' is in some sense unnecessary. Despite its intuitive appeal, ``topic'' as a cover term leads to unhelpful representations and obfuscates the underlying syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic categories on which it is based.
ISSN: 00243949
DOI: 10.1515/ling.1992.30.1.89

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