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Title: Information density in French and Dagara folktales : a corpus-based analysis of linguistic marking and cognitive processing
Author: Mills, Colin Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 6547
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the relationship between information density and the use of certain syntactic or discourse features. It analyses how the use of these linguistic features varies across two significant contextual dimensions: (i) societal literacy, i.e. the extent to. which the written medium is used in a particular society, as indicated by a number of measurable factors, and (ii) whether the spoken or the written medium is being used. Drawing on the psycholinguistic and cognitive science literature on discourse processing, the relationship between information density, cognitive processing difficulty and linguistic marking is also a key element of the study. Defining information as semantic (based on semantic propositions), pragmatic, and only measurable in relative terms, a definition of information density is elaborated involving informativity (a relative measure of semantic and pragmatic information) per clause. While information density is seen as too complex to measure globally, a wide-ranging study of both syntactic and discourse features related to semantic propositions and inferences allows a comparison of information density between corpora.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available