Abstract/Details

Continuity and given-new status of discourse referents in Adzera oral narrative


2002 2002

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Abstract (summary)

This thesis analyzes the encoding of discourse referents in oral narratives in Adzera, an SVO Austronesian language of Papua New Guinea. First, it classifies overt referents on a given-new continuum according to Prince's (1981) taxonomy of assumed familiarity, looking at the forms and positions used to introduce new entities into a discourse. Then it applies Givón's (1983, 1995) quantitative approach to measure the continuity of referents, whether overtly manifested or semantically implied as verb arguments.

This study largely confirms the findings and predictions of Prince and Givón regarding the introduction of new information and the relative continuity of various forms of reference and grammatical positions. Zero anaphora encode the majority of highly accessible subjects that would be encoded by pronouns in English, even though Adzera has no subject-verb agreement. Of particular interest are instances of first mention by pronominal forms, which appear to function in place of a passive construction, which Adzera lacks.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Linguistics
Classification
0290: Linguistics
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; Papua New Guinea
Title
Continuity and given-new status of discourse referents in Adzera oral narrative
Author
Howard, David Edward
Number of pages
175
Publication year
2002
Degree date
2002
School code
2502
Source
MAI 41/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780493994291, 0493994297
Advisor
Stvan, Laurel Smith
University/institution
The University of Texas at Arlington
University location
United States -- Texas
Degree
M.A.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1412823
ProQuest document ID
250126725
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/250126725
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