Information Structure, Discourse Structure and Grammatical Structure
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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This paper investigates, from the point of view of role and reference grammar, the formal and the functional side of SLF (‘subject gap in finite/frontal clauses’) coordination on the basis of a bidirectional parallel German-Dutch corpus. The main research question is how relational and referential coherence are mapped to the syntactic structure of SLF and coordination constructions alternating with it. A typology of the alternative constructions is proposed. Since both relational and referential coherence at the discourse level, as well as the nexus types at the syntax level, are composed of more or less prominent states of affairs, the paper defines a relative concept of prominence on both these grammar levels and examines whether and, if so, how this concept influences the mapping between discursive and syntactic structure. In particular, it looks at absolute and relative frequencies so as to find potential trends in this mapping. There is a tendency that the more prominent the discursive states of affairs are, the more syntactically prominent the chosen coordination alternative is. The states of affairs linked by the interclausal coherence relation seem to affect the distribution of the coordination alternatives both in German and in Dutch. The state of affairs expressed by the information-structural status of the first subject seems to affect at least the distribution of two types. To a certain extent, both German and Dutch strive to iconically map discursive to syntactic prominence.


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