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Personal subject pronouns and the meta-informative centering of utterances in classical Latin

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Abstract

Personal subject pronouns are used as meta-informative markers in classical Latin. Given that they are optional when the utterance contains a personal-ending verb, we put forward the hypothesis that they inherently emphasise the person already involved by the personal ending of the verb. Careful observation of examples taken from Cicero&#8217;s <i>Correspondence</i> shows that the pronouns <i>ego</i> and <i>tu</i> featured in discourse have a highly important role in the construction of informative coherence, since they can be used as topicalisations, but also as focalisations. Moreover, they can be used as additional markers: their second position gives to the first position element an informative emphasis which it would not otherwise have.

References

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