Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies ›› 2022, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (6): 115-125.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2022.06.014

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Forms and Functions of the Pre-Front Field Position in Spoken German: On the Possibility of Modern Chinese as a Speech-Oriented Language

LI Rui()   

  • Online:2022-12-28 Published:2022-12-02


The pre-front field position, represented by left dislocation and hanging topic, is mainly found in spoken German and has important pragmatic functions. The aim of this paper is to investigate the main forms and functions of the pre-front field structures in spoken German, and to further explore the possibility of modern Chinese as a speech-oriented language in relation to the topic structure of Chinese as a topic-prominent language. In this paper, we first sort out the concepts of pre-prefield and left external field and distinguish between left dislocation and hanging topic. After an overview of the formal means of topic marking, we analyze the main functions of the pre-front field structures in spoken German, and finally discuss them in relation to the information structure of modern Chinese. Left dislocation and hanging topic are two main types of topic realization outside the sentence.Topic marking structures belong to the features of spoken German.Modern Chinese is a less grammaticalized language, and its colloquial characters make it more of a pragmatic mode. The reason why Chinese features topic-prominent characters is related to this, which can be confirmed by the fact that the topic marking structures belongs to the features of spoken German.

Key words: left dislocation, hanging topic, topic-prominent, frame

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