Empirical support for the principle of the separation of reference and role

Ron Kuzar*, Hadar Netz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research leading to the formulation of the principle of the separation of reference and role (PSRR) has not taken a straight path. Lambrecht's (1994) PSRR is in direct succession to work by Givón (1975), Chafe (1987), and Du Bois (1987). More specifically, only Du Bois and Lambrecht (contra Chafe) recognize the clause as the domain in which the separation of reference and role takes place. Now, according to Lambrecht, one of the constructions exhibiting the PSRR is the left dislocation (LD) construction, where a referent is first introduced in the dislocated component and is then pronominally re-mentioned in the sentence to make an assertion about it. From our own experimental research, we supply empirical evidence to the effect of the PSRR in LD sentences. We show that in LD, cognitive processing is facilitated, while in other marked-topic constructions, which do not display such a separation, cognitive processing is not facilitated or even inhibited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1460-1468
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognitive processing
  • Information structure
  • Left dislocation
  • Markedness
  • PSRR
  • Topic

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