The topic-prominence parameter

  • This article aims to recast the properties of topic-prominent languages and their differences from subject-prominent languages as documented in the functionalist literature into the framework of the Principle-and-Parameter approach. It provides a configurational definition of the topic construction called Topic Phrase (TP), with the topic marker as its head. The availablity of TP enables topic prominent languages to develop various topic structures with properties such as morphological marking; cross-categorial realization of topics and comments; and mutiple application of topicalization. The article elaborates the notion of topic prominence. A topic prominent language is characterized as one that tends to activate the TP and to make full use of the configuration. Typically, it has a larger number and variety of highly grammaticalized topic markers in the Lexicon and permits a variety of syntactic categories to occur in the specifier position and the complement position of TP.

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Author:Liejiong Xu
Parent Title (English):Issues on topics / Ed. by Kerstin Schwabe ..., Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, Berlin, 2000; ZAS papers in linguistics Vol. 20
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2013/11/14
Year of first Publication:2000
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Topik; Morphologie; Syntax
Page Number:21
First Page:21
Last Page:41
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Pragmalinguistik/Kommunikationsforschung / Pragmalinguistics/Communication research
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Kontrastive Linguistik / Contrastive linguistics
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 20 = Issues on Topics
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht