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Secondary Content

The Semantics and Pragmatics of Side Issues

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Edited by Daniel Gutzmann and Katharina Turgay

In addition to expressing some main content, utterances often convey secondary content, which is content that is not their “main point”, but which rather provides side or background information, is less prominent than the main content, and shows distinctive behavior with respect to its role in discourse structure and which discourse moves it licenses. This volume collects original research papers on the semantics and pragmatics of secondary content. By covering a broad variety of linguistic phenomena that convey secondary content – including expressives, various particles, adverbials, pronouns, quotations, and dogwhistle language – the contributions show that secondary content is pervasive throughout different aspects of natural language and providing new insight into the nature of secondary content through new semantic and pragmatic analyses.
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Questions in Discourse

Volume 2: Pragmatics

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Edited by Klaus von Heusinger, V.Edgar Onea Gaspar and Malte Zimmermann

The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 2 Pragmatics collects original research on the role of questions in understanding text structure and discourse pragmatics. The in-depth studies discuss the effects of focus, questions and givenness in unalternative semantics, as well as the role of scalar particles, question-answer pairs and prosody from the perspective of Questions under Discussion. Two contributions compare the discourse-structuring potential of Questions under Discussion and rhetorical relations, whereas another adds a perspective from inquisitive semantics. Some contributions also look at understudied languages. Together, the contributions allow for a better understanding of question-related pragmatic and discourse-semantic phenomena, and they offer new perspectives on the structure of texts and discourses.
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Questions in Discourse

Volume 1: Semantics

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Edited by Klaus von Heusinger, V.Edgar Onea Gaspar and Malte Zimmermann

The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 1 Semantics contains a comprehensive overview of the semantic analysis of questions and their role in structuring discourse, next to a series of in-depth contributions on individual aspects of question meanings. The expert contributions offer novel accounts of semantic phenomena such as negation and biased questions, question embedding, exhaustivity, disjunction in alternative questions, and superlative quantification particles in questions. Some accounts are modelled in the framework of inquisitive semantics, whereas others employ alternative semantics, and yet others point to the discourse-structuring potential of marked questions. All contributions are easily accessible against the background of the general introduction. Together, they give an excellent overview of current trends in question semantics.
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Edited by Carla Suhr, Terttu Nevalainen and Irma Taavitsainen

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Edited by Manuela E. B. Giolfo and Kees Versteegh

This volume contains sixteen contributions from the fourth conference on the Foundations of Arabic linguistics (Genova, 2016), all having to do with the development of linguistic theory in the Arabic grammatical tradition, starting from Sībawayhi's Kitāb (end of the 8th century C.E.) and its continuing evolution in later grammarians up till the 14th century C.E. The scope of this volume includes the links between grammar and other disciplines, such as lexicography and logic, and the reception of Arabic grammar in the Persian and Malay linguistic tradition.
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Voices on Birchbark

Everyday Communication in Medieval Russia

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Jos Schaeken

In Voices on Birchbark Jos Schaeken explores the major role that writing on birchbark – an ephemeral, even ‘throw-away’ form of correspondence and administration – played in the vibrant medieval merchant city of Novgorod and other cities in the Russian Northwest. Birchbark literacy was crucial to the organization of Novgorodian society; it was integrated into a huge variety of activities and had a broad social basis; it was used extensively by the laity, by women as well as men, by villagers as well as landlords. Voices on Birchbark is the first book-length study of this unique corpus in English. By examining a representative selection of birchbark texts, Jos Schaeken presents fascinating vignettes of daily medieval life and a holistic picture of the pragmatics of communication in pre-modern societies.
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The Shape of Hebrew Poetry

Exploring the Discourse Function of Linguistic Parallelism in the Egyptian Hallel

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Matthew Ian Ayars

In The Shape of Hebrew Poetry, Matthew Ayars explores foregrounding and structural cohesion as the dual discourse function of linguistic parallelism in biblical Hebrew poetry through a robust application of Russian Formalist Roman Jakobson's conceptulisation of linguistic parallelism to the Egpytian Hallel (Psalm 113–118). Other hebraists and biblical Hebrew poetry specialists have long noted the importance of Jakobson's theory of parallelism for poetic texts of the Hebrew Bible, however, Ayars is the first to offer an application of Jakobsonian-based analysis to a poetic corpus of the Hebrew Bible.
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Edited by Maciej Witek and Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka

Normativity and Variety of Speech Actions embraces papers focused on the performative dimension of language. While all texts in the volume recognize speech primarily as a type of action, the collection is indicative of the multifaceted nature of J.L. Austin’s original reflection, which invited many varied research programmes. The problems addressed in the volume are discussed with reference to data culled from natural conversation, mediated political discourse, law, and literary language, and include normativity, e.g. types of norms operative in speech acts, speaker’s intentions and commitments, speaker-addressee coordination, but also speech actions in discursive practice, in literal and non-literal language, performance of irony, presupposition, and meaningful significant silence.

Contributors are: Brian Ball, Cristina Corredor, Anita Fetzer, Milada Hirschová, Dennis Kurzon, Marcin Matczak, Marina Sbisà, Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Maciej Witek, and Mateusz Włodarczyk.
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Textual Strategies in Ancient War Narrative

Thermopylae, Cannae and Beyond

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Edited by Lidewij W. van Gils, Irene J.F. de Jong and Caroline H.M. Kroon

In this collected volume fourteen experts in the fields of Classics and Ancient History study the textual strategies used by Herodotus and Livy when recounting the disastrous battles at Thermopylae and Cannae. Literary, linguistic and historical approaches are used (often in combination) in order to enhance and enrich the interpretation of the accounts, which for obvious reasons confronted the authors with a special challenge. Chapters drawing a comparison with other battle narratives and with other genres help to establish genre-specific elements in ancient historiography, and draw attention to the particular techniques employed by Herodotus and Livy in their war narratives.
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Olga A. Pilkington