Connective position, argument order and information structure of discourse connectives in written Turkish texts

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Informatics, Cognitive Science, Turkey

Approval Date: 2008




A text is a linguistic structure that is more than a random collection of sentences. A text is cohesive (Halliday & Hasan, 1976) and coherent (Mann & Thompson, 1987, 1988). Mainly ignored in the field of linguistics until recently, the text and the discourse structure have been inquired from various points of view (Asher, 1993; Asher & Lascarides, 1998; Grosz & Sidner, 1986; Mann & Thompson, 1987, 1988; Webber, 2004). D-LTAG is a discourse grammar work that extends a lexicalized sentence level grammar LTAG (Joshi, 1987) to low-level discourse (Webber, 2004; Webber & Joshi, 1998). In this framework, discourse connectives such as coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, parallel connectives and discourse adverbials are predicates of discourse structure that take text spans that can be interpreted as abstract objects (Asher, 1993). Turkish has a flexible word order in comparison to languages like English. In English, the discourse adverbials are noted for their ability to occupy positions unavailable to other discourse connectives. In Turkish, word order of other discourse connectives, coordinators and subordinators are not expected to be as restricted. This thesis examines the connective position, argument order and the information structure of five Turkish discourse connectives in their eleven uses. The analyses show that the examined features of discourse connectives are related to the syntactic group the connective belongs to. Discourse connectives of the same syntactic groups exploit similar connective position and argument order possibilities, and they tend to be included in similar information units.