Explaining Levels of Language

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This book presents an integrated theory of linguistic descriptions, elaborating a modular linguistic model that makes explicit the relation between sentence(s) and text(s). The study argues that text can be insightfully analyzed as a discrete level of linguistic representation on par with lower levels, in particular, with syntax, with which it shares certain structural properties and basic operations within a minimalist framework. The work will not discuss the relation between text and discourse; however, because texts mediate between sentences and discourses, they provide a point of departure for synthesizing sub-theories of syntax, text, and discourse into an eventual unified theory.


“It is customary in discussions of syntax to limit consideration to constituents no higher than the sentence level. Although this upper boundary is convenient, it leaves much unexplained. In his book, Mark S. Le Tourneau challenges the widely held view that no linguistic level exists above the sentence. ... Dr. LeTourneau’s book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of pragmatics.” - Dallin D. Oaks, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Brigham Young University

“Professor Mark S. LeTourneau’s book is an ambitious study, impressively argued and well-balanced between the theoretical and the concrete. ... In elaborating and supporting his new approach, Professor LeTourneau tackles many of language’s thorny and intriguing structures: from phrasal and clausal coordination, relative clauses (both full and reduced), clefts, and an array of movement operations, on the one hand, to deixis, anaphora, definiteness, contrastive focus, and information structure, on the other. The range of structures examined and the sophistication with which they are treated are thus second in interest only to the theory itself.” - Susan McKay, Associate Professor of English, Weber State University

Table of Contents

1 Sentence, Text, Discourse
2 Text as a Linguistic Level
3 Connexity and Intersentential Anaphora
4 (Endo)phoric Chains in Texts
5 Broad Syntax and Left-Peripheral Projections
6 Discourse Linking and Optional Movement
7 Focus and Definiteness in (Broad) Syntax
8 Retrospect and Prospect
Author Index
Subject Index

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