Subject Personal Pronouns in Slovene: Pragmatic Aspects of a Grammatical Category
Corpus analysis can yield relevant data on a range of grammatical features; this data can be used to produce in-depth descriptions of grammar. Corpus methodology is particularly useful for grammar research focusing on pragmatics and variation in the use of selected grammatical features. The present study aims to analyse the use of subject personal pronouns in Slovene from a pragmatic point of view in order to obtain new data for a more detailed description of the use of subject personal pronouns in Slovene. Slovene is a null-subject language; this means that it does not require the explicit expression of the subject of the clause. The study is based on corpus analysis of the Kres and Gos corpora; NoSketch Engine, Web-based text-analysis software, was used in the analysis. The results identify a considerable difference between the frequencies of subject personal pronouns in spoken discourse as opposed to written discourse. The results also show that the frequency of subject personal pronouns decreases with an increase in formality. Functional analysis reveals that overt subject personal pronouns can be classified broadly into two main categories, disambiguation and emphasis. In the category of disambiguation, the use of subject personal pronouns is influenced by morphological, syntactic and discursive factors, as well as the medium of communication. In the category of disambiguation, the medium of communication is a particularly relevant factor. The analysis shows that the use of subject personal pronouns in Slovene is far more complex than previous descriptions suggest. The findings raise interesting questions regarding the use of subject personal pronouns in Slovene in terms of dialects and hybrid Internet genres, as well as questions relating to editorial interventions and the impact of literacy development.
Copyright (c) 2018 Tamara Mikolič Južnič, Agnes Pisanski Peterlin
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