Topicalization in Asian Englishes: Forms, Functions and Frequencies of a Fronting Construction

1st Edition

Sven Leuckert

Routledge
February 5, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 230 Pages - 11 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138549456 - CAT# K375970
Series: Routledge Studies in World Englishes

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Summary

This monograph is the first comprehensive analysis of topicalization in Asian second-language varieties of English and provides an in-depth analysis of the forms, functions, and frequencies of topicalization in four Asian Englishes. Topicalization, i.e. the sentence-initial placement of constituents other than the subject, has been found to occur frequently in the English spoken by many Asians, but so far the possible reasons for this have never been scrutinized. This book closes this research gap by taking into account the structures of the major contact languages, the roles of second-language acquisition and politeness as well as other factors in order to explain why topicalization is highly frequent in some varieties such as Indian English and much less frequent in other varieties such as Hong Kong English. In addition to exploring major and minor forces involved in explaining the frequency of topicalization, the forms and functions of the feature are assessed. Central questions addressed in this regard are the following: Which syntactic constituents tend to be topicalized the most and the least frequently? Which discourse effects does topicalization achieve? How can we approach topicalization methodologically, and, lastly, which influence do language processing and production have on topicalization?

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