Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
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This paper considers the relevance of various approaches to the study of ‘Given’ and ‘New’ to a number of practical problems: complaints from listeners to UK radio programmes that presenters place emphasis on the wrong words; inaudibility of openings of utterances in radio news bulletins; and ambiguity of pronouns. Approaches to ‘Given’ and ‘New’ to be discussed include those whose concerns are with intonation (e.g., Halliday & Matthiessen 2014), those who pay attention to definiteness/indefiniteness in the nominal group (e.g., Martin 1992), and those who are more concerned with what is in the minds of hearers and readers (e.g., Prince 1981Lambrecht 1994). The underlying questions that are being investigated are: How free are speakers and writers to assign ‘Given’ or ‘New’ status to entities? Are there constraints on what they can do intonationally, or with definiteness, or with pronouns?


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): activation; assumed familiarity; definiteness; given; identifiability; intonation; new; pronouns
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