Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
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This paper investigates sequences featuring a coreferential link between a left-detached constituent and a resumptive in the following main clause [‘LDet-sequences’]. Their syntactic, semantic and textual behaviour is investigated in historically recent texts (since Modern English) where such detachments are not generally expected to replicate the behaviour that has been attested for contemporary spoken English Left Dislocation [‘LDis’] (cf. Geluykens 1993; Gregory & Michaelis 2001; Snider 2005; Netz et al. 2011). A typology of LDet-sequences is proposed in order to investigate them beyond their apparent structural similarities with spoken English LDis. Left-detached referents are found to typically hold a weak relationship with clause-grammar; however, some of the LDet-sequences attested also exhibit a certain degree of deviation from the less syntactic and freer, discoursal behaviour that characterises others. As far as their diachronic development is concerned, only LDet-sequences that closely resemble LDis illustrate the declining course reported in previous research for LDis (cf. Pérez-Guerra & Tizón-Couto 2009). Lastly, LDet-sequences are more frequent in drama and fiction; thus, the prediction that they are employed to recreate conversation (cf. Geluykens 1992) is provisionally borne out.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): detachments; history of English; information structure; Left Dislocation
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