This book was shortlisted for the ESSE Book Awards 2014
This volume investigates Left Dislocation (LD) in the recent history of English, especially in the Late Modern English period, from the syntactic, semantic, informational and discourse-functional perspectives. Chapter 1 provides a workable definition of LD. A distinction is made between several different LD configurations within a gradient including a prototype and less central types by taking into account grammatical and compositional features. Chapter 2 reconsiders the semantic, informational and syntactic interpretations of the theme-topic interface and explores the role of LD as far as these three views are concerned. The informational and cognitive-functional features of left-dislocates are analysed as a set of quantifiable features, namely topicality (or topic persistence), information status and syntactic distributional features. Chapter 3 deals with the multifunctional character of LD at the discourse level. The main processing and interactive functions of LD are further specified by means of a typology of four major functions and four minor functions that relies on contextual features such as referentiality (Introductory or Forefronting), the semantic relationship between the dislocate and the copy (Narrowing or Contrastive), on general interactional circumstances (Acknowledge or Summarising) or on the speaker’s attitude (Predicative or Correction).