is a sentence structure in which a constituent
which could otherwise be either an argument or an adjunct
of the clause occurs outside the clause boundaries either to its left or to its right as in English They went to the store, '
Mary and Peter.
The dislocated element is often separated by a pause (comma in writing) from the rest of the sentence. Its place within the clause is often occupied by a pronoun (e.g. they
There are two types of dislocation: right dislocation
, in which the constituent is postponed (as in the above example), or a left dislocation
, in which it is advanced. Right dislocation often occurs with a clarifying afterthought: They went to the store
is a coherent sentence, but Mary and Peter
is added afterward to clarify exactly who they
are. By contrast, left dislocation is like clefting
: it can be used to emphasize or define a topic
. For example, the sentence This little girl, the dog bit her
has the same meaning as The dog bit this little girl
but it emphasizes that the little girl (and not the dog) is the topic of interest; one might expect the next sentence to be She needs to see a doctor
, rather than It needs to be leashed
. This type of dislocation is a feature of topic-prominent languages
Dislocation in French
Informal spoken French
uses right dislocation very naturally and extensively, to detach semantic
information from the grammatical
information. Whereas a French news article would likely translate The dog bit the little......