Volume 15, Issue 2 (2024)                   LRR 2024, 15(2): 321-353 | Back to browse issues page


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Mohammadian S, Modarresi B, Kazemi F, Majidi S. A Study of Topicalization in Complex Sentences of Persian Language Based on the Lexical - Functional Grammar Approach. LRR 2024; 15 (2) :321-353
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-63565-en.html
1- Department of Linguistics, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Linguistics, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran , Bah.modarresi@iauctb.ac.ir
3- Department of Linguistics, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (1741 Views)
According to Bresnan et al. (2016), using morphological (lexocentric) or structural means to specify argument functions results in different representations of grammaticalized discourse functions in LFG. Furthermore, the AF specification is local to a single clause in this theory, resulting in a different representation of grammaticalized DFs in complex sentences during the topicalization and left-dislocation processes. The aim of this study is to investigate the processes of topicalization and left-dislocation in Persian complex sentences. Using a descriptive method, it also aims at showing how the subject and object functions in Persian are specified in the aforementioned framework. The findings indicate that the left-dislocated object and topicalized subject NP in the higher clause have both a DF in the f-structure. Both the agreement inflection and clitic pronoun have AF and anaphorically agree with the DF based on the well-formedness conditions. The agreement inflection, unlike the clitic pronoun, lacks an independent node in the c-structure as a morphological component of the verb. The semantic feature of the marked-râ object is placed in the value of the topic in f-structure, and the topic has the accusative case via postposition-râ. Since the AF specification is local to a single clause, in order to observe well-formedness conditions based on the economy principle, an empty category is required exocentrically in the canonical position of the NP in the lower clause of the c-structure. The object without-râ takes a similar approach, but it lacks morphological means to specify the object function. Thus, the empty category is considered endocentrically in the VP in the lower clause of the c-structure.
1. Introduction
Using morphological or structural means to specify argument functions results in different representations of grammaticalized discourse functions, according to Bresnan et al.’s (2016) approach in LFG. Furthermore, in this theory, AFs are specified locally to a single clause, resulting in a different representation of grammaticalized DFS during the topicalization and left-dislocation processes in Persian complex sentences. Based on the aforementioned approach in LFG, it can be hypothesized in Persian complex sentences that the way argument functions are specified affects the representation of grammaticalized discourse functions during the topicalization and left-dislocation processes. The purpose of this research is to investigate topicalization and left-dislocation in Persian compound sentences, as well as how AFs are specified in Persian according to Bresnan et al. (2016).
Research Question
The current study seeks to answer the question: What is the representation of the topicalized and left-dislocated NP in Persian complex sentences based on Bresnan et al.’s (2016) approach in LFG considering how the subject and object functions are specified in Persian?

2. Literature Review
Investigating previous LFG approaches to the representation of discourse functions, shows that early approaches represented the grammaticized discourse functions with f-structure attributes. Subsequent approaches have represented discourse functions as a separate level of grammatical representation in information structure. The theoretical framework is used in this study is based on the early approach. Thus, from Iranian and foreign researchers who used the early approach, it is worth naming Bresnan and Mchombo (1987), King (1995), Butt and King (1996), Suet Man (2007), and Abdollahi (2018).
3. Methodology
The current study is based on the descriptive-analytical method. The data were collected from Persian complex sentences containing the left-dislocated object-NP and the topicalized subject-NP and object-NP with a library method. They were selected from written texts, and for some, the authors also used their linguistic intuition to judge the well-formedness of the sentences.
 
4. Results
Following a descriptive-analytic method, the findings in response to the research question show that the dislocated topic and subject NP in the higher clause both have a DF, and the agreement inflection as an incorporated pronoun and clitic pronoun both have AF in the lower clause and anaphorically agree with the DF based on the well-formedness conditions. The clitic pronoun is regarded as an independent node of the phrase structure because it is syntactically independent in the c-structure. However, the agreement inflection as a morphological part of the verb lacks an independent node in accordance with the lexical integrity principle. The semantic feature of the marked-râ object is placed in the value of the topic function in f-structure, and the topic has the accusative case via postposition-ra in the higher clause. In order to observe well-formedness conditions based on the economy principle, an empty category is necessary in the canonical position of the NP in the c-structure because the AF specification is local to a single clause. The empty category in the c-structure is identified in the f-structure with a higher discourse function by inside-out functional uncertainty. The empty category, however, was thought to be exocentrically dominated by the sentence category due to the fact that the NP identified the object function in canonical position by dependent-marking (lexocentric) and could have been displaced during the scrambling process. The object (without-râ) lacks morphological means to specify the object function and obtains its function endocentrically in the VP. This means that the empty category in the c-structure is dominated by VP endocentrically in the lower clause, and the empty category in the c-structure is identified in the f-structure with a higher discourse function by inside-out functional uncertainty. As a result, as can be seen, the findings support the research hypothesis regarding the effect of the way argument functions are specified on the representation of topicalized discourse functions.
 
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Grammar
Published: 2024/12/30

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