Cause, Condition, Concession, Contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives

Cause, Condition, Concession, Contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives

Cause, Condition, Concession, Contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives

Cause, Condition, Concession, Contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives

Synopsis

In this collection of original and innovative papers, new light is thrown on the nature and the expression of the four probably most-researched coherence relations.

Excerpt

The theme of this book—endearingly referred to by its editors and contributors as the CCCC or four-Cs volume—is a set of relations, conceptual in nature but instantiated linguistically, which can be said to hold typically between clauses or sequences of clauses in discourse. Most, if not all, of our contributors will undoubtedly agree that each of these relations can be realized or marked by different linguistic means, e.g. by adverbials, particles, coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, word order (see, for instance, the chapters by Barth, Dancygier/Sweetser, Gohl, Montolío and Pander Maat/Sanders, which compare and contrast different lexical connectives in the fields of causality, conditionality and concessivity). Some of our contributors will undoubtedly maintain that the C-relations can even hold in the absence of specific lexical or syntactic markers (see, for instance, the chapters by Crevels, Gohl and Meyer). Yet many of our contributors may disagree on whether these relations are fundamentally semantic (see, e.g., the contribution by König/Siemund) or fundamentally rhetorical/interactional in nature (see, e.g., the chapters by Barth, Couper-Kuhlen/Thompson, Gohl and Meyer). Those who think of the C-relations as semantic will be concerned to represent their meaning (or the meanings of their markers) in a contextindependent, perhaps even a formal fashion, whereas those who see them as basically rhetorical or interactive will address their interpretation (or the interpretation of their markers) in specific—although perhaps generalizable—contexts. Yet in this divergence—or rather, diversity—of opinion we see one of the strong points of our endeavor Indeed, the novelty of the present volume lies not only in the cutting-edge research which it presents but also in the fact that it embodies work at the frontier of two very different approaches to language—cognitive linguistics and discourse or interactional linguistics By bringing these two traditions together in one volume, we hope to initiate a dialogue in which the respective bodies of work can be evaluated for their relevance to one another.

The contributions collected here have been grouped roughly into sections according to C-relation in the order: cause, condition, contrast, concession. However, since some chapters explicitly address the relationship between more than one relation, the section boundaries are by no means rigid. In fact, this permeability is a reflection of deep-lying . . .

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