ERIC Number: ED184371
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
On Subjects and Topics.
The nature of grammatical relations such as subject and object are examined. The ways in which subjects differ from language to language are described and the way in which a language can do without a subject relation is revealed. Three primitive functional properties of sentences which underlie the syntactic relations of subject and topic are explained. These are: (1) the role-defining property, a syntactic device used by all languages for coding information about the argument roles of agent, patient, experiencer, etc.; (2) the orientation property wherein what is in the subject position alters the perspective or orientation of the sentence; and (3) the definiteness property by which definiteness is assigned to an argument based on the speaker's assumptions about the possibility of the listener identifying the argument from previous discourse. Some characteristics of subjects and orientations are briefly mentioned. (PMJ)
Descriptors: Discourse Analysis, Grammar, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Universals, Sentence Structure, Structural Analysis (Linguistics), Syntax
Berkeley Linguistics Society, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 ($8.20 for entire Proceedings)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Subject (Grammar)
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (3rd, Berkeley, CA, February 19-21, 1977).