S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (러시아문화권연구소) 러시아연구 (Russian Studies) 러시아연구 Volume 17 Number 1/2 (2007)
현대러시아어의 대조화제와 '화제성'
Contrastive Topic in Modem Russian: A Case for Topichood
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 러시아연구소
- 러시아연구, Vol.17 No.2, pp. 173-209
- This study explores the concept of 'contrastive topic(CT)'in Modem Russian, their linguistic exponents and implications. In view of the fact that every focus element has a certain degree of innate contrastive ness, CT is a heterogeneous concept including focus properties arising from its contrastive semantic feature, as is contrastive focus with its topic properties in terms of informational status as 'given'. CT is a complex notion: it evokes a set of contrast sets consisting of textually or situationally evoked alternatives and it needs to orient or anchor the addressee, which explains its invariant prominent position in Russian word order. Further, topic-focus bipartition, a long tradition in FSP studies, needs to be reexamined. In Russian, other than prosodic features, word order is a mai-l exponent of CT : CT tends to be located in sentence-initial position. CT precedes a
continuous topic, and this CT -first ordering is crucial for orienting the addressee in evoking double contrast sets. In colloquial Russian, although CT invariably occupies the same sentence-initial position, contrastive focus or unmarked focus tends to be preposed -- to sentence-initial position or leftward. In addition, this study reexamines "imenitel'nyj temy", which has caused confusion due to its misnomer, and this neutralized unmarked case in topic position is for both topic and focus with assumed contrastiveness in colloquial Russian. Thus, regardless of register, 'focushood' or contrastiveness controls sentence-initial position and case neutralization. The position and case reflect its cognitive and discourse function as 'figure' or foregrounding device. Thus Communicative Dynamism alone cannot explicate the communicative significance of the sentence-initial position or leftward movement. In conclusion this study rejects discrete categorial notions of topic and focus based on structural binarism. Instead a continuous notion of 'topichood', consisting of properties on grammatical, semantic, discourse-pragmatic and coding planes, is proposed. CT is a case for that argument.