Chapter 12. Left periphery in discourse

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In recent years a number of Romance-language scholars, have attempted to outline discourse models that identify units which contribute significantly to the information structure of discourse. One of these, known as the Basel model, is briefly presented in this paper. As far as we know, it is the only one to give an account of the structure of both oral and written texts. We will focus on the Frame Unit, an extra-predicative unit on the left periphery of the utterance with a scope that can extend beyond the single utterance. We will explore its role in text construction, observing the functions of some discourse markers when they occupy this unit. Finally, we will stress that the position of discourse markers is one of the main factors that must be taken into account in descriptive and cross-linguistic analyses of these elements.


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