Extending further and refining Prince's taxonomy of given/new information: A case study of non-restrictive, relevance-oriented structures

Abstract : The aim of this article is to complement and refine Ellen Prince's well-known taxonomy of given/new information (Prince 1981, 1992), which distinguishes between discourse-related and assumed familiarity-related newness/givenness. What we suggest is that a new category should be added to the existing hearer new, hearer old, and inferrable information categories, so as to include cases where the informational status of an entity or a propositional content cannot be determined with certainty. We call this new category 'the (hearer) indeterminables', and we justify its existence through a case study on non-restrictive, relevance oriented constructions (appositive relative clauses, non-restrictive pre-modifiers, apposition). We also argue that it is possible for speakers/writers to simulate informational statuses for politeness considerations, and that such simulation should be included in the definition of assumed familiarity.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 22, 2013 - 11:54:22 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 11:27:00 AM

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Rudy Loock. Extending further and refining Prince's taxonomy of given/new information: A case study of non-restrictive, relevance-oriented structures. Pragmatics, 2013, 23 (1), pp.69-91. 〈10.1075/prag.23.1.04loo〉. 〈hal-00803569〉

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