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What is given information?



Given information is information that is assumed by the speaker to be known to, assumed by, or inferable by the addressee at the time of the speaker's utterance, because it is

  • common knowledge
  • part of the extralinguistic context, or
  • previously established in the discourse.

Given information often is

  • placed early in a sentence, and
  • spoken with a low amount of stress.
  Here are some kinds of given information:
  Given information is a kind of

Crystal 1985 136


Crystal 1980 161–162


Levinson 1983 88


Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 1360–1362


Prince 1981 230

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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