Modes of Discourse: The Local Structure of Texts

By Carlota S. Smith | Go to book overview

Preface

This work would not have been possible without many kinds of support that I have received from individuals and institutions. I am grateful to them all. The New York Community Trust has supported much of my research on discourse. It also funded three small conferences on discourse at the University of Texas which advanced the work. I received a Faculty Research Award from the University of Texas Research Institute in 1994, which enabled me to pursue this project. During that period I spent some time as a Visiting Scholar at the Maison Suger of the CNRS in Paris. I was the beneficiary of a Dean's Fellow award from the College of Liberal Arts in 1998.

Parts of this work have been presented at conferences and colloquia. I benefited greatly from the discussions that followed, as well as the presentations themselves. They include three conferences on discourse structure at the University of Texas; an International Round Table on The Syntax of Tense and Aspect at Université de Paris, 2000; a symposium on Information Structure in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective at the University of Oslo, 2000; a conference on Linguistics in the Next Decade at the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 2000; a Linguistics Colloquium at the University of Siena in 1998; an invited lecture series at the City University of Hong Kong in 1998.

I would like to thank the members of a seminar on text structure that I taught at the University of Texas in the Fall of 2001: Behrad Aghei, Robert M. Brown, Pascal Denis, Q Wan Kim, Christian Rathmann, Brian Reese, Dong-Rhin Shin, Cholthicha Sudmuk, and Jiun-Shiung Wu. Their questions and comments on an earlier version of this manuscript were extremely helpful. I owe a special debt to Keith Walters, who read the entire manuscript and gave me many valuable suggestions on content, presentation, and relevant material. I also thank Pascal Denis, my research assistant during the critical stages of manuscript preparation; he asked penetrating questions and provided very useful technical advice. Finally, I thank the people with whom I have worked at the Cambridge

-xiii-

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Modes of Discourse: The Local Structure of Texts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • I Discourse Structure 5
  • 1: The Study of Discourse 7
  • 2: Introduction to the Discourse Modes 22
  • 3: Text Representation and Understanding 49
  • II: Linguistic Analysis of the Discourse Modes 65
  • 4: Aspectual Information 67
  • 5: Temporal and Spatial Progression 92
  • 6: Referring Expressions in Discourse 123
  • III: Surface Presentational Factors 153
  • 7: Subjectivity in Texts 155
  • 8: The Contribution of Surface Presentation 185
  • 9: Non-Canonical Structures and Presentation 213
  • IV: Discourse Modes and Their Context 241
  • 10: Information in Text Passages 243
  • 11: Discourse Structure and Discourse Modes 258
  • Appendix A - The Texts 267
  • Appendix B - Glossary 286
  • References 294
  • General Index 314
  • Index of Names 318
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