Extra-clausal constituents and language contact

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Extra-clausal constituents as proposed by Dik (1997: 379–407) are linguistic elements that are typically marked off from the clause proper by breaks or pause-like inflections in their prosodic contour, or occur on their own, they can only be understood in terms of pragmatic rules and principles and serve mainly functions such as interaction management, attitude specification, discourse organization and execution. In the framework of Discourse Grammar such constituents are defined as theticals, that is, as belonging to Thetical Grammar rather than to Sentence Grammar (Kaltenböck et al. 2011; Heine et al. 2013).Evidence for a distinction between these two kinds of grammatical organization has more recently been found in neurolinguistic processing (Heine et al. 2014; 2015), and if indeed there is a cognitive base to the disctinction then it should also surface in other forms of human behavior. To this end, the present paper is concerned with the behavior of bilingual speakers. The findings discussed in the paper suggest that Thetical Grammar is clearly the favored domain in bilingual interaction: Interlocutors rely distinctly more on thetical categories such as discourse markers than on categories of Sentence Grammar in linguistic discourse.


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