The Basel Model for paragraph segmentation

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This paper sets out to present a model for the segmentation of written text, known in Switzerland and Italy under the name of the Basel Model. The language of application is Italian. <br />The first section deals, in a general and epistemological manner, with what I conceive as &#8216;text&#8217; (as opposed to &#8216;discourse&#8217;) and its structuring principle. I shall proceed by defining the nature of the contribution made by language (vocabulary, morphology, syntax, punctuation) to the identification of text structures. In successive sections, I shall focus on the problem of the segmentation of the paragraph into its constituent units. I shall firstly define the key units of its constitution, the Communicative Units; and then subsequently the structuring units of the Communicative Units, i.e. the Information Units. These two types of units will be precisely defined from the point of view of their semantico-pragmatic substance and their linguistic manifestation. <br />A special place will be reserved &#8212; in response to previous criticism &#8212; for a confrontation between the conception of the information structure of the utterance as proposed by the Basel Model and the theory advanced by Edoardo Lomabardi Vallauri, who is also contributing to this volume.


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