Left Dislocation: a typological overview
The Left Dislocation construction is a typologically universal phenomenon that has received detailed analysis, from both formal and functional perspectives, in a number of genetically and areally diverse languages. The present paper aims to provide a general overview of this cross-linguistic research with a concentration on: 1) the comparison of syntactico-semantic features of LD across languages, 2) the generalized cross-linguistic patterns and categories attested for LD, and 3) the explanations offered for LD in terms of its motivation and function in discourse. Accordingly, the paper will proceed in two parts. The first part will entail a brief survey of the syntactic and semantic attributes that have established LD as a typological category. In light of these attributes, linguists generally distinguish between two broad types of LD on the basis of particular syntactic patterns and constraints. Thus, a general description of these types is provided, along with a brief description of several less prototypical LD types. The second part of the paper will focus on the explanation of LD both in terms of the cognitive and contextual constraints that motivate its use in discourse, as well as the communicative goals and pragmatic effects achieved by the construction in particular contexts.
Keywords: Typology, Left Dislocation, Syntax, Discourse Pragmatics, Information Structure
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).