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Title: Communicative Organization in Natural Language : The Semantic-Communicative Structure of Sentences

Author: Igor A. Melcuk

Series: Studies in Language Companion Series, 57

Publisher: John Benjamins, Amsterdam; August 2001

Level: Specialized Monograph

Field: Semantics

ISBN: 1588111016, English, Hardcover, 393 pages

Publisher's Abstract:

The book defines the concept of Semantic-Communicative Structure [= Sem-CommS]-a formal object that is imposed on the starting Semantic Structure [= SemS] of a sentence (under text synthesis) in order to turn thffce selected meaning into a linguistic message. The Sem-CommS is a system of eight logically independent oppositions: 1. Thematicity (Rheme vs. Theme), 2. Givenness (Given vs. Old), 3. Focalization (Focalized vs. Non-Focalized), 4. Perspective (Foregrounded vs. Backgrounded), 5. Emphasis (Emphasized vs. Non-Emphasized), 6. Presupposedness (Presupposed vs. Non-Presupposed), 7. Unitariness (Unitary vs. Articulated), 8. Locutionality (Communicated vs. Signaled). The values of these oppositions mark particular subnetworks of the starting SemS and thus allow for the distinction between sentences such as (a) A man killed a dog vs. The dog was killed by a man, (b) John washed the window vs. It was John who washed the window or (c) It hurts! vs. Ouch! The proposed Sem-Comm-oppositions are conceived as an attempt at sharpening the well-known notions of Topic ~ Comment, Focus, etc. Possible linguistic strategies for expressing the values of the Sem-Comm-oppositions in different languages are discussed at some length, with linguistic illustrations.

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Quick References

Melcuk, Igor A.. 2001. Communicative Organization in Natural Language: The Semantic-Communicative Structure of Sentences. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

@BOOK { 1588111016,
	AUTHOR = {Igor A. Melcuk},
	YEAR = {2001},
	TITLE = {Communicative Organization in Natural Language},
	ADDRESS = {Amsterdam},
	PUBLISHER = {John Benjamins}
}