challenges previous assumptions of what is grammatically possible in English through an examination of contexts in which speakers omit subjects, demonstrating how language structure is influenced by communicative needs.
Through corpus-based analysis of both interactive conversations and monologic narratives, Amy M. Lindstrom reveals how the discourse/pragmatic factors of accessibility and chronological ordering, the prosodic effect of linking, and the mechanical effect of priming intersect to provide a rigorous account of subject (un)expression in spoken American English. Higher degrees of linking, cohesion, and connection lead to more unexpressed subjects. Lindstrom also analyzes frequent constructions with unexpressed subjects vis-à-vis paths of grammaticalization. The author presents a measurement of discourse connectedness that shows how the intersection of prosody and pragmatics illustrates the powerful effect of spontaneous discourse in shaping grammar. This study adds to our understanding of language and cognition by contributing to our knowledge of the conceptualization, categorization, and representation of experience and memory.
By Amy M. Lindstrom
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1. Variable subject expression
Chapter 2. Unexpressed (null) subjects
Chapter 3. Classification and coding of conversational and narrative data
Chapter 4. Human subject expression patterning
Chapter 8. Summary and conclusions
Appendix A: Transcription Conventions
About the Author