Bridging constructions in typological perspective

Valerie Guerin, Grant Aiton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In this chapter, we undertake a cross-linguistic examination of bridging constructions, which we define as the sequence of two clauses: the first clause (called the reference clause) ends a discourse unit, the second clause (called the bridging clause)typically repeats the first clause at the beginning of a new discourse unit. Based on published language data and data from the volume, we identify three different types of constructions subsumed under the label bridging construction (§2 and §3): recapitulative linkage, summary linkage, and mixed linkage. They differ in the form that the bridging clause takes on: broadly speaking, verbatim lexical recapitulation of the reference clause; a light verb summarizing the reference clause; or a mix of these two strategies. Because bridging constructions lie at the interface of discourse and syntax, we dedicate §4 to explaining their discourse functions. Amid the cross-linguistic variation, we found two recurrent discourse functions: emphasizing sequentiality and cohesively structuring discourse. Finally, we establish a list of questions to guide the documentation of these linguistic patterns.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBridging constructions
    Editors Valérie Guérin
    Place of PublicationGermany
    PublisherLanguage Science Press
    ISBN (Print)978-3-96110-141-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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