On Discourse Structure in Italian and Danish

Morten Gylling-Jørgensen, Iørn Korzen

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    This paper examines some typological differences in the discourse structure of Italian and Danish. The results of the study indicate that there are significant differences in information packing in the two languages, especially in their use of deverbalisation. Italian sentences tend to include a larger number of Elementary Discourse Units (EDUs), especially propositions, than Danish. A higher percentage of these is rhetorically backgrounded by means of non-finite and nominalised predicates. Danish text structure, on the other hand, is more informationally linear and characteristic of a higher number of finite verbs and topic shifts. The study also suggests that a more fine-grained classification of non-finite and nominalised EDUs is needed for a complete in-depth analysis of discourse constraints in different language families.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2011
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventCID 4 2011 Constraints of Discource - Agay, France
    Duration: 14 Sept 201116 Sept 2011
    Conference number: 4


    ConferenceCID 4 2011 Constraints of Discource
    Internet address


    • Discourse structure
    • Typology
    • Information packing
    • Deverbalisation

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