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The discourse particle to and word ordering in Hindi: From grammar to discourse

Abstract : Word reordering is the most common way in Hindi for focalizing and thematizing a constituent, without morphological restructuration. A theme is thus fronted and a focus is preverbal. However, the language also displays other devices, namely particles, for this purpose, particularly but not only, for constituents already respectively fronted and preverbal in the unmarked order (SOV). The paper bears on the most frequent of such particles, the thematic enclitic particle to. Previous analyses have pointed to the extreme diversity of its meanings-up to four " homonyms " : intensive, contrastive, assertive, request particle. The present study explains this diversity in terms of a common operation which involves inter-subjectivity. As a thematic particle, to requalifies the constituent as contrasting either with other elements present in the dialogue or with a view point on the constituent which has been previously expressed or attributed the other. Being highly sensitive to the exchange of distinct viewpoints, the particle may also cliticize to non-initial constituents, in which case it marks the whole statement as dismissing of opposing a previous proposal. The behaviour of the particle to may ultimately be traced to the other and older functions of the word used as a correlative pronoun and as a conjunction, which also presuppose an initial content as the starting point for a distinct predication or discourse sequence.
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Contributor : Annie Montaut Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 14, 2016 - 3:27:55 AM
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Annie Montaut. The discourse particle to and word ordering in Hindi: From grammar to discourse. Fernandez Vest Joceline & Van Valin Robert. Information Structuring in Spoken Languages from a Cross-linguistic Perspective, 283, Benjamins, pp.263-82, 2015, Trends in Linguistics.Studies and Monographs. ⟨halshs-01287633⟩



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