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Seeking a Pedagogically Useful Understanding of Given-New: An Analysis of Native-Speaker Errors in Written Discourse
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, English.
1992 (English)In: Pragmatics and Language Learning, Vol. 3, p. 130-143Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Two samples of college student writing, paragraphs from freshman compositions, are analyzed for presence or absence of two characteristics of literate prose, decontextualization and autonomy. Writing is decontextualized and autonomous when whatever is needed for its comprehension is not dependent on context or verbal cues, as is often the case with speech. It is argued that the writer's failure to decontextualize is, more specifically, due to violations of the constraints of the organization of given-new information, but that in order to understand this, a new conception of this organiztion is needed. Two additional discourse organizing principles are identified: (1) all new information must be to some extent given, and the more given information is the more felicitous information; and (2) all discourse constituents are not constrained by equally stringent givenness conditions. Examples are offered and discussed, and these new principles are applied to the texts in question.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1992. Vol. 3, p. 130-143
Keywords [en]
College Freshmen, Discourse Analysis, Error Patterns, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Language Research, Language Styles, Linguistic Theory, Native Speakers, Paragraph Composition, Pragmatics, Writing (Composition), Written Language
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-3779OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:3779DiVA, id: diva2:520029
Available from: 2009-03-11 Created: 2009-03-11 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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Language
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf